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About this episode
The human-animal has its needs. While we are all different as individuals, we necessarily all have the same basic mix of needs that must be satisfied if we are going to sustain any effort, and ultimately feel fulfilled and happy in our career. In this episode, we begin the conversation that identifies these uniquely human requirements and how to implement their achievement in our day to day life and work.
Please note that this is a machine transcription that may not be 100% accurate.
This is The Happy Scientist podcast. Each episode is designed to make you more focused, more productive, and more satisfied in the lab. You can find us online at bitesizebio.com/happyscientist. Your hosts are Kenneth Vogt, founder of the executive coaching firm, Vera Claritas, and Dr. Nick Oswald, PhD by a scientist and founder Bitesize Bio.
Dr. Nick Oswald (00:39):
Hello and welcome to this. The first episode of the happy scientist podcast from Bitesize Bio. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist, you’re in the right place. I’m Nick Oswald, the founder of Bitesizebio.com where we provide bio-science researchers with help for improving their technical skills, their soft skills and their well-being. In this podcast, we’ll be focusing on the latter of these three areas with me today. Actually, the driving force of this podcast is Kenneth. Kenneth would describe himself as an executive business coach. He runs a business that does just that, but really Ken is a polymath, a master of reason, and a truly expert mentor in personal and professional development. At Bitesize Bio, we call him Yoda. That’s the esteem that we hold him in. I’ve worked with Ken now for over seven years with him as my business mentor and colleague.
Dr. Nick Oswald (01:33):
And I can safely say, it has been the most transformative experience of my life. I invited Ken to start this podcast with me because from my time in the lab, I understand the pressures, the mindsets, and the challenges that the scientists face. And I knew that his expertise could help. A lot of people in these sessions. We’ll hear mostly from Ken on principles that will help to shape you for a happier and more successful career. And along the way, I’ll pitch in with points from my personal experience as a scientist and from working with Ken. So let’s bring in the man himself. How are you today, Ken?
Kenneth Vogt (02:07):
I’m great. Thank you for very kind intro. So we’re going to jump right into this idea of being a happy scientist. Those are not two words. You often hear strung together, and obviously in any career, you can make it your own and you can find deep satisfaction in it. And you can, you can do more than just get the work done. You can do more than just do enough to get your paycheck. So if we accept the premise that you could be productive and happy at the same time that you could be happy in the lab, well, then we’d have to ask the question, well, what would it take? What would I have to, to, to be happy in the lab and maybe what I have to do different, to be happy in the lab. So it all comes down to something that is fundamental about humans and scientists are humans too.
Kenneth Vogt (03:07):
You have the same basic needs as other people. You know that the human animal has certain requirements. And we’re going to talk about some something in this episode and actually the next two episodes after it also that are going to bring this all together. Now, this is, this is just a way of looking at the world. I’m not saying this is the truth with a capital T you know, I’m not saying that this is the only way to observe things, but it’s a way that works. And it’s simple. It’s something you can remember. It’s something you can carry with you. You don’t have to refer back to a manual and you don’t have to be an expert in it. I guess this isn’t something that you’re probably wanting to be an expert in. You’ve already got enough things you’re supposed to be an expert in.
Kenneth Vogt (03:58):
So this is something that I’ll be the expert for you. And then you can, you can see some simple ways to apply it. Now while all humans are different. Obviously we have a lot more in common than our differences, and there are a mix of needs that everybody has, and everybody has a mall and we’re going to narrow this down to six human needs. Things that everybody has to have satisfied in their life. If they’re going to be happy and satisfied in their career, if they’re going to be happy with their career or just satisfied in their job, it’s just as about something, you know, we can go smaller and smaller and smaller, but your needs have to be met. So we’re going to talk about them and how, how you can make an, make a sustained effort to keep them always satisfied. And it will transform a lot of the things that are happening to you. You will find paths that are difficult now or boring or irritating, you’ll have a different experience for them.
Dr. Nick Oswald (05:05):
And so just to look at that another way around Ken, another way to look at that is that if you have whatever is going on in your life, that is not optimal, wherever, is stressful, whatever you would feel that you need to, you would like to change. It generally boils down to one of those needs not being fulfilled. And so if you if you examine it through this lens that you’re about to provide, then it can give you a real handle on how to improve the situation, whatever it is
Kenneth Vogt (05:34):
Exactly. This is, this is something you can take out into the world with you. It’s not just something you can use in the lab, but it works perfectly well in the lab. So there’s nothing special about what’s happening to you at work. That doesn’t happen in the wider world. You’re still interacting with other humans and you know, you’re still having the same kind of things will come up for you on the job off the job. Now, another thing I want to comment on it is understandable. If you look at yourself and say, you know, I’m more of a data driven person, this sounds a little touchy feely to me sounds a little woo, woo. But I want to assure you that there will be measurable effects, things that you can, that you can do comparisons on. You can, you can definitely take your data mind and apply it to this and have it work for you.
Dr. Nick Oswald (06:29):
Yeah. I would say one of the things that you really bring to the table, as far as I’m concerned, Ken, is that I like that what you said there about let you be the expert in this. And then, and then other people can rest on that and to improve their lives while being expert at other things. What you really bring to the table here is you are amazing at analyzing these you know, the, the parameters that make us tick and then providing these sort of frameworks. This is not the only framework we’ll look at, but providing these sort of frameworks that allow people to map easily map, where they’re having an issue and more easily pinpoint how to fix it.
Kenneth Vogt (07:09):
Right? And it’s just like having a good map. You know, we all know when we look a map, but that’s not the landscape, but a good maps really helpful. And it doesn’t have to perfectly capture every possibility of the landscape. Don’t need to see every blade of grass on it, but it has the parts that are necessary. The parts that matter to you. And that’s what this will be. This will be that kind of map. So I want to step back here and think about how you got to where you are. Nobody who is a scientist, working in a lab, found themselves there by accident. That is not the kind of thing you fall into. You know, working at the carwash is the kind of thing you fall into. So this is something that, where you’ve had a plan all along and, and you’ve, you’ve worked hard at it.
Kenneth Vogt (07:58):
And, and in some cases you’ve had to work extremely hard. And so you got focused on that path and now you finally did it. You got through it. All you got through the schooling, you got your degree, you got your PhD, you got the job in the lab and now you’re here and you’re going, wow, this isn’t quite how I imagined my life was going to be. It’s it’s, it’s just not what I thought, you know? And it’s not that there are good things about it, or even great things about it, but it’s got downsides that, that you didn’t predict. And now that that’s happening, you may be looking at this and saying, I don’t know if I can keep, keep this up forever. You know, I can take it right now, but there’s going to be a time when I’m going to burn out or it’s going to be too much, or I’m going to get so frustrated or irritated that I’m going to do something rash like up and quit.
Kenneth Vogt (08:53):
So you realize I’m going have to manage this situation, this environment. I can’t just minimize it. I can’t just pretend it away. So I want to assure you that you don’t have to just endure your job. It’s not just something to be got on with. You can actually love your job. You can love your career. And you can bring in things to it that you may feel like the environment is, is hindering, or your management is hampering. Things like productivity and creativity. You can take these barriers and get rid of them. And you will find, you can take more control of your own work or in, in fact, your own career than you might think possible. You might feel like you’re jammed into a structure now. And there’s so many layers of management above you. That there’s, you just have no flexibility, but they can’t control your inner world.
Kenneth Vogt (09:54):
So you can take total charge of that. And you can have a completely different experiences with this. So obviously we’re going to talk about how you feel about your work and what’s happening to you, but understand feelings, impact your work. Emotions are a part of the human animal, and you are a human animal. You have that too. And it’s an important part of how society works. You know, this is this, isn’t just something that is incidentally layered on top. It is, it is fundamental to who we are. So all the things that you’re facing, that you don’t like the frustrations and the, the, the annoyances and irritations the answer, isn’t just to suck it up. You’re not just supposed to suppress those feelings. Rather, what you want to do is manage those feelings. Then maybe another way to put it. It’s those experiences because you haven’t experienced, but then you tell yourself the story about the experience.
Kenneth Vogt (10:54):
So I’ll call it the difference between data and information, no data. Those are just points information. There is the conclusion you draw from the points when people are often drawing a conclusion that is not serving them very well. You know? So they’re thinking my boss is a jerk. He doesn’t pay attention. He doesn’t care about my problems. He is missing the important information I’ve been giving to him that he even asked for it, but he’s not paying attention to it. You can build up all kinds of story like that. Or you can look at it and say, okay, you know, I have somebody that I report to. They have their version of what they need to see in the world, what they need to get done. They need to get certain information for me to get that done. I’ve noticed that when I give them information, they’re not always getting it.
Kenneth Vogt (11:47):
That is not that they’re not receiving it, but they’re not understanding it. They’re not seeing the point. All right, well then I’ve got take a different tack because my objective has got to be to make sure they get what they need. Well, now you’ve taken responsibility there, instead of just feeling like a victim about it, I’m like, Oh, you know, poor me, my boss. Doesn’t, can’t read a simple report. Well, if that’s the case, then make it simpler. There’s, there’s ways to, there’s ways to go about that.
Dr. Nick Oswald (12:14):
You mean your boss has human needs too.
Kenneth Vogt (12:16):
Exactly. Exactly. Everybody. That’s the beauty of this. You’re going to see this and go, wow, I can apply this to my spouse. I can apply this to my kids. You know, I can apply this to the mailman. You know, it works for everybody.
Kenneth Vogt (12:31):
And of course it works with your boss too. And it really can give you an insight into where people are coming from and why they’re reacting the way they’re reacting. So when it comes to these six human needs, we’re going to talk in a lot of numbers here. And we’re going to talk about, about structures for these numbers. You’re going to love that part. So imagine that we have six needs. They are broad categories. Now we’re going to take those six needs and we’re going to put them into three groups. So there’s going to be three sets of two, two needs that, that play off each other. And those three, those three sets are going to be three sets of contexts. So imagine that within each of those contexts, the two things are something that’s inwardly focused and outwardly focused. I will we’ll include a graphic.
Kenneth Vogt (13:33):
That’ll, that’ll be in the show notes. That’ll show you this just visually, because I know, you know, some, some folks having a way of visually taking something in is helpful for them, but imagine something like a bullseye and you know, in the center, we have one group of two, and then the next ring out, we have another group of two, and the next ring out, we have another group of two, and one side is inward focused and the other side is outward focused. So you’ll see that in picture. So today for this session, we’re going to talk about the first two, the first group, the first context. So the contexts that’ll be covered over these three sessions are personal context. That’s the most central one. Then we moved to a group context. And finally, we moved to a universal context. What that means is that you have needs personally things where it just has to do with you.
Kenneth Vogt (14:32):
There’s nobody else involved, just some needs that you have, but just need to be about you. The next step out then is you have some needs that are about you plus other people that are in your, your inner circle. You know, the people you work with, your family, your closest friends, things like that. And then the third context is the needs. You have universally, you know, the needs you have with you and the rest of the world. And you’ll see how these things play off each other. The, the most basic and fundamental are the personal ones. But as you go out from out to group and then out to universal, they become more powerful. Now you need to think about that. And it makes sense if you have you know, a vehicle that’s, that’s under your own personal power, like say a bicycle, you know, you, you can get around and you can go pretty fast and it’s useful in a variety of conditions.
Kenneth Vogt (15:33):
But imagine if you got on a tandem bike and he had somebody else to help you pedal, and you know, so again, it gets you, maybe you could go a little farther, you go a little faster. You could, you wouldn’t be tired out as much. So it would open up the world a bit and then a universal scale. Well, let’s say now you get in a car, you know, somebody else’s designed a car for you. And then another group of people are, are providing fuel for you and other people who have built roads for you. Well, now again, more powerful now that doesn’t take away from the necessity of the personal needs. These personal needs are real. And I don’t want to point out they’re all powerful. They’re all useful. And you’ll especially see these personal needs in others. When, when you’re looking at somebody that has that’s having difficulty or you’re, you’re having difficulty with, and you’re trying to figure out what needs aren’t of theirs are not being met right now.
Kenneth Vogt (16:33):
You’re probably going to see the ones that are personal first, because they’re, they’re the simplest and most naked of the, as we, as we move out in the next couple episodes that talk about these things, you’ll see how it gets. I don’t want to call it more complicated, but the complexity is there, but at this basic level, here you are, you know, this is a new idea to you. So first thing you want to talk about, the things are the simplest. So we’re going to talk about the personal context. So we have two choices here and inward focused and an outward focus. You think what we’re trying to be there? The simplest of those two? Well, the inward focus, the inward focus is just about me. I don’t even have to think about the rest of the world. This is just me and I want to be happy.
Kenneth Vogt (17:22):
And what do I have to have? I’m just thinking about me and I want to be happy. I’m going to have a, have a word or a short phrase for each of these things that you can remember kind of thing. We’ll, you’ll be able to go back to it at any moment and go, this isn’t working for me. Am I getting X? Am I getting Y, am I getting Z? You’ll be something you can easily install in your head. On the other hand, you can also do the opposite. When things are working is like, why is this working? What am I, which of my needs are being met? And this is a concept I want you to keep thinking about because that’s going to be the takeaway at the end of this session is I’m going to want you to be looking for the specific needs we’ve talked about in your world, where they’re being met and where they’re not being met.
Kenneth Vogt (18:12):
And then to look at it from the other direction is when things are going well, which of my needs are being met when things are not going well, which are my needs are not being met. And also when you’re looking at other people, when I see something’s not going well for my boss, or something’s not going well for my colleague, or if you have subordinates in answer to you, something they’re not going well for them, you can see what’s missing and it’ll help you fill it in. And it’s, it’s something that can be really powerful. And I’ll toss that back to Nick there. And maybe he can talk a little bit about how you’ve seen applying this, this methodology of human needs in your day to day work.
Dr. Nick Oswald (18:53):
I mean, for me, a big thing all the way through, I mean, essentially I switched from the lab working in the lab and then being self employed and working, you know, creating Bitesize Bio. And of course a big thing that’s missing there when you’re when you, when you do that is you, you lose a chunk of certainty. And that in the beginning caused me a huge amount of stress. And I didn’t realize that that was, that was the problem. I just felt that this was, you know, okay, it’s stressful running your own business, but once we started, I started working with you and I could see, okay, this is what I need. I need to add certainty. I needed to. And if I can’t find certainty, one of the one way I contextualize it for myself was okay. What I was doing before. Um Bitesize Bio was actually working in a biotech company and a start-up biotech company and actually there wasn’t a lot of certainty in that either, but I just kind of, it wasn’t my responsibility. It was someone else’s. And so I still had the same amount of certainty as I did when I moved into you know, into working for myself and it, and in some ways I’m not going to fire myself, so I had more certainty. And so that was one way that I helped to bridge to, to bridge the gap or identify the gap for myself and then to bridge it and looking at others, I can see you know, as we record this, we are in the, in the covid lockdown. And well, UK here, we’ve been in Scotland, essentially we’ve been lockdowned for well this is week nine of the same scenario. And I can see people around me, definitely suffering from the lack of variety, physical, mental, and emotional stimulation. So I’ll do, I’ll help can help people helped I can do to help people with that.
Kenneth Vogt (20:48):
Okay. So, so folks, if you’re paying attention, there are some clues here for what, what these two human needs are in a personal context. So the one of the inward focus, and you’ve heard Nick use the word many times, and this is the label for certainty. You need certainty. Everybody needs certainty to a certain extent they do. Then when I say certainty, what I mean is a need for reliability, safety, and comfort. You can’t live your life like Evil Knievel. You can’t run with your hair on fire all the time. I know a lot of us, you know, we have dynamic personalities and we have a lot of energy and you think, ah, certainty is boring. Yeah, it’s boring until you don’t have it, you have to have it.
Kenneth Vogt (21:43):
And there are other folks that are going on. Certainly yes, that is just so critical to me. I have to have a solid foundation under my feet. I, I can’t function without that. So we want to cover this from the perspective from various perspectives, because people do come at this from different directions. You’ll also find that over your life, the mix of these human needs that are drawing you at any given moment will change. Now, they’re not going to change. Usually that radically day to day, you know, you’ve got to, you’ve kind of got a map of how you are now a year from now. It might be a little different though, but but you know, it’s not going to change so quickly that you get whiplash. You’ll, you’ll see it coming. But this notion of having certainty is really critical. And so you can look at what’s happening to you in the lab and say, where am I not getting certainty?
Kenneth Vogt (22:37):
Where, things going off the rails for that? And you’ll notice things like maybe things aren’t scheduled adequately enough, or maybe you don’t get access to equipment or supplies or things that you need to get the job done. Maybe you don’t get access to people that you need access to. You’ll see, like, ah, that’s why this is bothering me. This I, this is stressing me because you could look at it and say, we’re always going to encounter problems. I mean, in fact, the joy of your job comes in encountering problems and then hopefully finding solutions or at least finding meaning, finding out what doesn’t work. You know, that’s, that should be a very good thing, but if it’s stressing you and it’s bothering you and it’s draining you, what’s happening there is you’re not getting your need for certainty fulfilled. And sometimes there’s nothing that can be done about that.
Kenneth Vogt (23:30):
The specific thing that’s going on that doesn’t allow you to have certainty. So the answer is we’ll then look around, but where can I get more certainty if I can’t get it here? That’s just how it is. You can, you know, you can accept pretty much anything. You know, a lot of folks look at that, Oh, I don’t know. I can’t do that. You know, that goes against my ethical and moral standards. It’s like, Oh, it doesn’t have to, some things you just have to accept and say, you know what? I’m going to work on the things that I can have some influence over that. I have some have some say over and not worry about the stuff that I can’t control. I mean, you can drive yourself crazy that way, wanting control that you just aren’t going to get. Now, now that being said, I’m not saying that you are required to be happy in your industry, in your career.
Kenneth Vogt (24:21):
And in this particular job, any one of those things is malleable. You know, you, if you choose, you might say, you know what? I love science and I love the lab, but I hate this lab. Okay. Find another lab that will do a better job for you. Or you might say, you know, I want to be in science, but this isn’t really satisfying. What I want to do. Maybe you want to do more writing, or maybe you want to, you want to you know, move into a different kind of position, like a PI or whatever, whatever it might be to be able to recognize that and see, Hey, this isn’t meeting my needs. And then to be able to do an assessment on prep, you know, but if I change to this, is that more likely to meet my needs? And if the answer is yes, one with all right, well, and then work on finding a path to getting there. But it’s also good to recognize if like, Hey, I hate it here. I’m going to move somewhere else. Well, you better look at that somewhere else first because maybe you’ll hate it there too. Cause maybe the problem isn’t the place.
Dr. Nick Oswald (25:27):
Yeah. I think that’s a good, good point. Ken is that is, is easy to, and I kind of did that kind of blamed the place where I was to begin with when I wasn’t happy, but I found that no matter where I went, then it was, it was, there was always a base set of issues that I didn’t enjoy that made me not happy. And then when it, when it was Bitesize Bio and it’s just me, then I realized, okay, there’s nowhere to go here. It’s me. I need to fix that. I need to fix something. Exactly. And so, yeah, it’s, it’s quite easy to to project what’s happening you know, those needs of yours that aren’t being met to project them onto someone else and expect, you know, they are or make the story for yourself that they are the problem. But actually often it’s the case that that you can you know, if you look at these these sort of things, we will be talking about that you can then figure out what the issue is and address it for yourself
Kenneth Vogt (26:32):
Right now, while certainty is the most basic and most fundamental, it is also the one with the least amount of, of power of the ones we’re going to talk about. So you can’t get enough certainty to make up for the lack of, of the others. And that’s something that people are, you’ll see people do, people that become control freaks. What they’re doing is they’re seeking to control anything they can because of the things that are out of control in their lives or out of control in their job environment or whatever it is. So while it’s a good thing to realize that, Hey, I can’t have any certainty about this. So what I’ll do instead is I’ll get certainty about that. You got to find some level of satisfaction in that where you’re not just going and there, I can’t control this part of what’s going on here.
Kenneth Vogt (27:20):
So I’m going to control everything and everyone else, and that doesn’t solve the problem. You know, certainty is valuable, but it is one of six. So satisfy it. But once it’s satisfied, you need to move on and then look up the chain from there. And so the next, the next natural step here in a personal context, instead of just looking inward, look outward. So again, in a personal context, if you look outward and Nick, Nick already shared the word for it with people look for is variety. That is the need for physical, mental, and emotional stimulation. So we want things to be interesting. We want to be surprised. We want to find out new stuff. And in fact, in, in, in your field, finding out new things is, I mean, that’s the big, big payoff that better than any other thing, you know, if, if you were in accounting, finding new things is not, is not good, it’s disturbing. But, but in science, no, that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. And so then you got to look for ways to give yourself variety, Nick, you have something,
Dr. Nick Oswald (28:34):
I, it just occurred to me and it’s not so much for it actually. So I’m a bit late in the day here, but I just occurred to me a very practical example of, of how you can give yourself certainty that you’re lacking as a scientist, right? In an area that you would have uncertainties a scientist. And I common I’ll probably go back to this. A lot of times you have in these podcasts is cause it’s kind of, one of the kinds of flags I like to fly is that scientists think that they have to get results and then they, and they’re uncertain that they can get results because it’s not actually within your control to get results, but what you can do and what you see, if you, if you reframe it for yourself, that what your job, your job is to ask questions to the best of your ability. Then you can have certainty about that and then allow the results to follow. And that reframing is that fundamental reframing of your job as a scientist will provide you with certainty that you can you, you know, that that can, that could literally transform the way that, how much you enjoy your science. And actually it will, can transform the way that, you know, the results that you get, because you’re more in a more relaxed mindset and and more focused and not worrying yourself all the time about why you’re not getting results
Kenneth Vogt (29:51):
Right now, early on there, Nick really tooted me, which was very nice to him, but I want to treat him a little bit here. I come with theory here, a theory that’s been proven, but it’s still theory it’s it’s hypothesis, but Nick has lived it. He’s putting it. He’s put it to the test and found out for himself that, Hey, I can really make this work. And this notion that the way he just described this is beautiful. Here’s a way of looking at your work, where you can get certainty because you have control over the questions and get, you can still get variety because you don’t have control over what the results will be, but that’s the beauty of it. So you’re no longer afraid that I, Oh, what if I don’t get this result? If what if my hypothesis is not proven? What if I don’t get the result that our, that our funders would like me to get?
Kenneth Vogt (30:46):
And then, you know, of course that’s a big problem in science. So we will talk about over time, cause it’s definitely impacting the happiness of scientists. Well, this gives you a little more control over that. You get, you get to create an environment where variety is built in and is normal and not just normal and not just acceptable, but it’s desirable. And that, that that’s where creativity will come from. If, if you have, if you have the opportunity to be surprised, if you’re allowed to, to have things come up, that you didn’t expect and see that as a good thing and realize that’s what opens the way it makes everything better. And by the way, part of what we’re doing here with this, why, why do we even want to make you a happy scientist? Well, the reason why is because we believe it will make the world a better place. And I realize that’s a big claim, but the fact is that bio-science is doing literally life-saving work and life sustaining work and life improving work.
Kenneth Vogt (31:57):
It’s hard to have a higher calling than that, honestly, and you get to get paid for it. And, you know, you get to use fancy and expensive equipment and you get to dive deep into topics and spend years on things and becoming true world experts on things. There’s not a lot of fields where you could literally be the expert in your field or among a handful of people who knows more than anybody else on the planet, but in your work, that is, that is a doable thing. That is a, and it’s not in fact an uncommon thing. It’s, it’s quite within your reach to be that. And there’s not a lot of fields you could say that about.
Dr. Nick Oswald (32:40):
Yeah, I would say that as well though. The flip side is that not everywhere, but in a lot of places a lot of environments, you might find yourself in as a scientist to the received wisdom is kind of the opposite of what we’re saying here is that if you just take the received, was this the received wisdom about how to conduct your work? It becomes is becomes an, an unenjoyable task. That’s my, again, as I’ll say all the way through this, this is the experience of my, from myself and from people I’ve talked to it might not be the case for you, maybe it’s different, but this is one of the mindsets I’m coming into this with is, is that there is you know, a kind of there’s a, way, that, that science is being done or what people expect of scientists. And it’s not just in scientists elsewhere, other professions as well. We’re, it’s all about pushing, working harder, pushing yourself further and further towards the edge. And that, and to me, that’s not how you get the best out of people. And it’s especially not the best for a thing like science, which has created, has to be creative and objective and relaxed if you’re going to do it well.
Kenneth Vogt (34:03):
Right? And in, in my practice, sustainability is critical. This I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard, but you shouldn’t work yourself to death. You shouldn’t drive yourself to the breaking point because that doesn’t work in the long run. And this you’re in a business where the long run is going to matter is this isn’t about quick hits. This isn’t about, you know, today’s sale. This is, this is about things that are gonna, that are gonna keep growing and growing and growing. You know, Bitesize Bio itself is a good example of this because Bitesize Bio talks so much about fundamental science. It’s not a, you know, here’s the latest and greatest news show or here’s, here’s the hot topic for the day. They cover fundamentals and they cover them well. And you know, there are articles that have been out there for 10 years that are still getting traffic to them.
Kenneth Vogt (35:03):
Why? Well, because it’s foundational. So we realized that because Bitesize Bio started that way of providing the foundational material for scientists first, it was about the science itself. And then, then Nick realized over time, you know, there’s more, they need, they need some soft skills. They need, they need to be good writers. They need to be good communicators. They, you know, they need to be able to do presentations and we should help them with that too. And so he added that on. And then finally I say, finally, not like I’m like I’m, I’m satisfied about the path, but as this has been going along, and I’ve been working with Bitesize Bio and people on the management team with this, they packed up and said, you know, scientists need this too. And I was like, that’s right.
Kenneth Vogt (35:57):
I thought I’ve been saying that to you forever, but I’m glad you just heard me, but it’s, it’s, it’s funny how that goes. How many times we have our Eureka moment and everybody around us is going like, you just figured that out, but this is why this is here. It is another key component so that you can have a great career and you can have a great life as a result of your great career. So just to wrap this all back up for this session, we’ve talked about two human needs. They’re both in a personal context. One of them takes an inward focus. Another one takes an outward focus and the inward focus, personal context, human need is certainty the need for reliability, safety, and comfort. Then the one in personal context with an outward focus is variety. The need for physical, mental, and emotional stimulation.
Kenneth Vogt (37:07):
So certainty, variety, certainty, variety. In some ways, they’re almost like once they’re like two sides of one coin, but it’s just because of that inward outward look. So here’s, here’s the takeaway from, from this episode. And here’s what we would like you to do start watching in your world, where am I getting certainty, nor am I not getting it? And where am I getting variety? And where am I not getting it? And another thing another way to look at it is when things go right, did I get any certainty out of this? Did I get any variety out of this? And even more important when things don’t go right? Did I fail to get some certainty here? Did I fail to get some variety here? Then the next thing you can do is then look at the people around you and see for them when things are, especially when things are going wrong, are they not getting certainty right now?
Kenneth Vogt (38:04):
Or they’re not getting variety right now? And can I fill that hole for them and see if I can turn this situation around? So the idea here is give you something you can remember, you know, you don’t have to go back to read a book or, or, you know, check some schedule or something, certainty and variety be on the hunt for that in the world and watch for it and take this and do it because here’s the thing, we’ve all done this. I mean, we’re, all of us are our learners and we are intellectuals. We have bothered to get a lot of knowledge, but knowledge is one thing. Experience is entirely a different thing, and you can be very erudite about any topic, but until you live it, you don’t know there, somethings you just can’t know. And the example I like to use for that is a man can be a gynecologist and he could know all about how a woman’s body functions, but an 18 year old female with a high school education knows more about being a woman than that 45 year old male gynecologist. Cause she’s got something he doesn’t have, she’s having the experience. So have the experience of, of certainty have the experience of variety. And you will find that is more powerful even than the things you learned today in this episode.
Kenneth Vogt (39:31):
So in our next episode, we’ll dig into the next group of two and show you how you can look at those things. And again, as I’m a, I’ve alluded to, they get more powerful as we go. So I, you know, I, I’m encouraging you to come back and hear more because this is going to build on itself. And then in the end, we’ll wrap it up. When we have all six and show you a way that you can really make a powerful make a powerful practice out of this. Is there anything else you want to add there, Nick?
Dr. Nick Oswald (40:02):
Yeah. I just wanted to add one more thing before we’re saying often that is that we will be, we’ll be diving into a lot of stuff here. These podcasts will be very useful what we will be doing more more deep dives into specific areas and maybe some challenges and exercises and things on our Facebook page that we’ve set up for this this project. And you can find that by going to facebook.com/thehappyscientistclub , all one word, and you can send us a joint request in there and we’ll add you and then we’ll take it from there.
Kenneth Vogt (40:37):
Yes, we will definitely make it a point to, to interact with people in the Facebook group. We are very interested in what your experience is too, because see, this is another thing we would love the feedback from you. We do want to hear from you. So yeah, I guess that’s, that’s what to say about that.
Dr. Nick Oswald (40:56):
Okay. So thank you. Thanks, Ken. A great start to this podcast and we’ll see you all again soon for the next episode.
Kenneth Vogt (41:05):
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