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Learn With Avthar

Author: Avthar Sewrathan

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Learn with Avthar is the podcast that helps you become a Learning Machine. Join entrepreneur and technologist Avthar Sewrathan as he talks with world class guests about self-mastery, startups, health and happiness. Avthar unpacks truths, lessons and mindsets that you can use to level up your life. Learn more and stay up to date at
36 Episodes
Learn with Avthar #6: Shamay Agaron - The Neuroscience of Wellness, Wearables, and the Brain-Body ConnectionABOUT SHAMAYShamay Agaron is a Princeton-trained neuroscience researcher and science communicator. He's also the author of Friday Brainstorm, a popular newsletter that makes neuroscience accessible and actionable to everyday people.Friday brainstorm newsletter https://brainstorm.substack.comShamay's website: https://shamay.comTIMESTAMPS08:05 -Shamay's journey in neuroscience14:01 - The (un)surprising link between food and mood21:07 - Our environment's impact on our brains33:52 - Forget lo-fi, listen to soundscapes41:13 - Alternative wellness 49:20 - Gut-brain connection54:48 - Consumerism and health59:04 - Level up your health by BREATHING1:03:41 - The double-edged sword of quantified personal data1:36:50 - A Neuroscience Researcher's Top Book RecommendationsCONNECT WITH AVTHARLearn more and stay up to date at: https://avthar.comAvthar's Weekly Wisdom: https://avthar.substack.comFollow Avthar on Twitter:
Learn with Avthar #5: Nic VogeThis episode is with the person I call the most for learning advice: Nic Voge.I worked under Nic as a learning coach at Princeton University and he’s one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met when it comes to learning and education in high performance, high intensity environments.About NicNic Voge holds a masters in Education focusing on learning and literacy. He’s worked with some of the worlds brightest students in the most demanding university environments, spending 10 years co-ordinating the study strategies program at University of California, Berkeley and 12 years at Princeton University, where he’s currently the Senior Associate Director of the McGraw Center for teaching at learning, where he oversees 180 tutors, graduate fellows, learning consultants and professional learning strategists.Nic is also a published author, with his book "Life Beyond Grades: Designing Intrinsically Engaging College Courses” published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.Episode Contents(2:37) How this learning and teaching expert found his strengths(8:29) What’s it like helping students at America’s best university?(17:44) Textbooks aren’t designed for students(23:31) Why “transfer” is the most value skill to learn(28:58) Learning coach vs tutor, Collaborative strategizing(40:48) Self worth theory and life beyond grades(47:58) How college changes your self image(51:51): Procrastination and Identity(1:00:00) Motivation Stacking(1:07:38) Can Extrinsic and Intrinsic rewards Coexist? (1:11:18) Quickfire questions(1:20:05) Success is an internal experience(1:22:20) Why is college so hard(1:47:03) Closing gratitude and get in touch with Nic VogeConnect with NicLinkedInPrinceton University McGraw Center for Teaching and LearningLife Beyond GradesLearn more and stay up to date at
Learn with Avthar #4: Andrés BronnimannI was excited to invite Andrés Bronnimann onto the podcast to celebrate the release of his first feature-length documentary entitled, "The Universality of It All". The film focuses on the topics of human migration, climate change and social inequality.I was also curious about what he learned from making the film, as well as his creative and entrepreneurial processes he picked up as an independent filmmaker with 30+ productions in 25+ countries.About Andrés:Andrés Bronnimann was raised in Costa Rica, by a Swiss father and Mexican mother. He's a graduate of United World College Costa Rica and was a Davis Scholar at Ringling College of Art and Design, in Florida, USA, where he earned a degree in film and business.Andrés' filmmaking portfolio is as diverse as his personal background, having worked for both social causes and large brands looking for an edgier media profile. His clients have ranged from Red Bull and Land Rover, to Projects for Peace. While pursuing freelance projects for other organizations, he also helped start an independent ad-agency, 'BE Latinoamérica', where he was CEO.Throughout his film career, he has traveled to more than 30 countries, creating music videos, web series and commercials for numerous brands, artists and organizations. Andrés has worn many hats in the film production pipeline, having been a producer, writer, manager and creative. "The Universality of it All" is his debut film, nearly two years in the making, where he was the only crew member.In the podcast we cover:Andrés' Hero's Journey about how he became a filmmakerThe tragic backstory and inspiration behind "The Universality of It All"How your life is a film, with you as both director and main characterThe importance of patience and perseverance as an independent filmmakerThe financial and emotional hardships that came with filming, producing, and promoting an independent filmThe business of creative endeavors: How to find your audience and serve unmet needsAvoiding the rabbit hole of researchConnecting macro and micro world issuesRespecting the ugly side of lifeThe intangible value of authenticity and gratitudeHow can we measure the social impact of media?Connect with Andrés BronnimannBronniTVFacebookLinkedInLearn more and stay up to date at
Every creative has a unique perspective. It's the framework through which they perceive and act to bring their artistic vision into reality. With a clear underlying understanding of how they see the world, their art becomes clearer to themselves and others.In this clip, Andrés makes insightful observations about the entrepreneurship of creativity, purpose-driven creation the critical role of marketing in the digital age, as well as the importance of finding your audience.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
With any project, company, or piece of art, it is an incredible challenge to untangle your self-worth from what you've produced and the success it has achieved. Why would someone endeavor to do something that makes them feel more vulnerable than ever?In this clip, guest Andrés Bronniman openly discusses his personal challenges with the creative process— self-doubt, comparison, and loneliness. It's an inside look at the creative's journey and the vulnerability that independent pursuits produce.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
We've all been told to be grateful when we've complained about the food on offer at the dining table. However, how often do we voluntarily take the time to feel grateful for what we do have?Avthar and guest Andrés Bronniman discuss the importance of shifting your perspective in order to see your life and environment from a place of gratitude. "Comparison is the thief of joy" and "the grass is greener on the other side"— we have heard these phrases a million times, but for good reason. Let these two remind you of the value of gratitude using lessons from their own entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
Many successful people feel that their achievements can be attributed to their work ethic and uncompromising commitment to their plan A. However, how often do we hear from those that didn't succeed in achieving their initial dreams?In this clip, Avthar and Andrés Bronniman discuss the value of having a backup plan in order to reduce anxiety and allow a healthy distance between your self-worth and your success as an entrepreneur. It is easier to go all in and commit your full self to something when you know that failure is not going to be the end of the world.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
The comfort zone is a dangerous place for us homo sapiens. As the world suffers from the consequences of conformity and groupthink, the value of entrepreneurial and creative endeavors are becoming starkly clear. We can either innovate or perish.In this clip, Andrés Bronniman and Avthar connect over their mutual struggles and sense of meaning in committing to their own ventures rather than the beaten path of the 9-5.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan.Learn more and stay up to date at
Yes, the starving artist narrative is getting old. However, it doesn't make it any less true. Let Andrés Bronniman, a Costa Rican filmmaker, tell you about the financial and emotional struggles he faced on the way to developing and releasing his latest feature film, "The Universality of It All".Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan.Learn more and stay up to date at
In a world where politics seems to gets more and more divisive each year, the need for objectivity and honest debate has never been clearer.In this clip, Avthar and guest Andrés Bronniman discuss the importance of decision-making that emphasizes practicality and fact over appealing to the fashionable ideological position. Our intuition should be guided by our sense of truth rather than our political group of choice.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
Our projects guide us toward things we seek to discover, as well as things we never imagined we needed to know. Realizing how little we actually know is one of the most daunting and exhilarating parts of the learning process.In this clip, guest Andrés Bronnimann shows us how much he learned about migration, economics, and climate change through working on his latest documentary, "The Universality of It All". He discusses the folly of the research rabbit hole, the valuable opportunity to alter our opinions in light of new information, as well as his newfound appreciation for Nicaraguan history.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
Living and moving between cities and continents, Andrés Bronnimann is as "international" as an international filmmaker gets. Andrés produced and filmed material in over 25 countries for clients ranging from Red Bull and Land Rover, to Projects for Peace. He aims to bring a social impact edge to his creative delivery.In this clip, Andrés discusses his personal connection to his latest documentary, "The Universality of It All", which centers on the immigration difficulties faced by one of his best friends from university. He explores their touching friendship in the film within the wider context of the international refugee crisis, climate change, political turmoil, and their interconnectedness.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #4 with Andrés Bronniman and Avthar Sewrathan. Learn more and stay up to date at
Sena is the perhaps the most interesting person I've ever met and I'm sure you'll agree after listening to this podcast.Sena Voncujovi was born in Japan and raised in Ghana. He comes from a family of African traditional healers and is a Bokor, one who has been initiated into the highest spiritual rank of Ifa. As a Davis United World College Scholar, he graduated from Middlebury College in the USA, with a bachelors degree in international politics, economics, and African Studies. He founded ReVodution: Voodoo Education to educate the world about African spiritual traditions and co-founded Jaspora to build a community for the African diaspora in Japan. He's currently a Yenching Scholar at Yenching Academy of Peking University.I first met Sena in 2012 in Costa Rica. Since then we've shared countless hours of insightful conversation. This podcast is one of the most interesting talks we've ever had. I learned so much about African spirituality, how Sena connects Africa and Asia through his work, as well as the lessons Sena learned as a founder of not one, but two organizations!In the podcast, we cover:Sena's experience as an African spiritual practitioner and his take on why Voodoo is misunderstood by Africans and the West.What does it mean to be a "Bokor"?How Sena leverages digital media to show the world the truth behind African traditional spiritualityThe story of Sena's multi-cultural upbringing and why his father, Christopher Voncujovi, is the most successful person he knows.How Sena's work and life connects Africa and AsiaThe book that influenced Sena's life the mostThe mindset that helped Sena become a clear, independent thinkerWhat it was like to attend a Black Lives Matter protest in JapanThe belief Sena changed in order to achieve his entrepreneurial goalsSena's experience at United World College Costa Rica and African Leadership AcademyHow Sena found his natural strengthsConnect with Sena VoncujoviFacebookTwitter @SVoncujoviLinkedInLearn more and stay up to date at
There are elements of our identity that are subconscious, but when we become an "other", they become crystalized. So the more we put ourselves in situations that we become an "other", the more we actually learn about ourselves, about identity and what makes us unique in the world.In this clip, guest Sena Voncujovi describes how he found his strengths by exposing himself to as many things as possible and taking in as many different perspectives as he could. He also talks with Avthar about how others can go about replicating his process of self discovery.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
The father of guest Sena Voncujovi is a magician, African traditional spiritual healer and global traveller. His name is Christopher Voncujovi and he's perhaps the most interesting person you've never heard of. Sena paints a fascinating image of his father who has a phenomenal story to share. Growing up exposed to several different religions, Christopher Voncujovi questioned organized religion and began delving into the world of spirituality, yoga and meditation. Sena talks about Voncujovi's journey of seeking out individual connections from several diverse religions to reach a higher level of spirituality and why this journey has made him the most influential figure in Sena's life.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
Guest Sena Voncujovi has been practicing African traditional spirituality for over 12 years. He's nicknamed "Bokor Costa Rica" and "Bokor Worldwide", as he's shared his knowledge about Vodu and African spiritual practices passed down to him by his father with folks from all over the world, during his time in the USA, Costa Rica, and Japan. In this clip, Sena describes his family heritage of traditional healing, why African spirituality became associated with Satan (hint: the media), and his experience teaching Africans and non-Africans (westerners, asians) the truth about Vodu. He also tells us how he leverages digital media like film and livestreams, and social media platforms like Facebook, to give the world a practitioner's perspective of African Traditional Spirituality.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
In this clip, guest Sena Voncujovi describes his work with the African Leadership Group, an organization dedicated to producing the next generation of leaders on the African continent. Sena talks about his time at African Leadership Academy in South Africa, as well as studying abroad at African Leadership University in Mauritius. He highlights how these experiences impacted his life and shaped his passion for Africa.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
Should African students who've studied abroad return home? If so, when is the best time? In this clip, Avthar and guest Sena Voncujovi, two Africans who've lived and studied aboard, wrestle with these questions in the context of their own lives. They talk about timelines for returning to Africa, how you can return home without making an impact and how you can impact your home country through your work abroad, using the example of Sena's work with African entrepreneurs while living in Japan.Clip from Learn with Avthar Ep #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
"You don't need to have everything set in order to start."This was just one of the sage pieces of advice Sena Voncujovi dropped for aspiring entrepreneurs in this fire clip. Sena talks about how planning and preparing held him back from taking action and how he learned to fail and learn quickly in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. How many of us spend our lives waiting for someone else to give us the go ahead or that final push into doing what we truly love or are passionate about? Avthar and Sena discuss what's holding you back, as well as the effect of people who surround you on your growth and ambition.Clip from Learn with Avthar #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement took the world by storm in 2020, demonstrating a worldwide stand against racial inequality and police brutality. In many places, BLM protests were met with more violence and brutality, while in others they took place undisturbed. In this clip guest Sena Voncujovi describes his experience in taking part in a BLM protest in Japan alongside 3000 other protesters, in a march led by the Japanese police.Clip from Learn with Avthar #3 with Sena Voncujovi. Learn more and stay up to date at
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