There are some areas of life that appear to lend themselves to training and systems, such as using spreadsheets, law, accounting and medicine. 

But for things like coming up with new ideas or creativity we rely on luck or inspiration. However, there is a way to systematise this. Inspired by a book from the 1940s, in this podcast, I describe a 5-step process for idea generation.

They are in order:

  1. Gathering knowledge.
  2. Reflecting until you are exhausted.
  3. Distracting yourself away from the problem.
  4. Let the magic happen as the idea comes out of nowhere.
  5. Exposing the idea to the world of healthy criticism.

I’ve been using this system and it works. 

Enjoy

Bilal

 

I often think back to Shakespeare's plays for pearls of wisdom on life. One of my favourite pearls is to think of his biggest plays as representing the three stages of life, thus:

  • Youth represented by Hamlet
  • Adulthood represented by Macbeth
  • Old age represented by King Lear

I elaborate on each in this podcast and discuss what we can learn about how to live (or not to live!) our lives accordingly. 

Hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

 

 

We tend to think of time in one simple way - that time is an arrow. So we're constantly moving forward. Often this can us feel unhappy with where we are. But there are alternative ways of thinking of time. In this podcast, I discuss four:

  1. Time becomes events. 
  2. Expanded presence.
  3. Cyclical time.  
  4. No past or future. 

Hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

How many times do you hear of a work initiative, company plan or government project that fails and you think it was obvious that was going to happen? Think government projects to upgrade IT systems or building new transport links or think company plans to go digital or break silos. 

In this podcast, I discuss a technique to overcome bad decision making. A method that Noble prize winner Daniel Kahneman recommends. 

Make sure to subscribe, rate and review this podcast and enjoy! Bilal. 

We all worry about sleep, so I was very lucky to interview Professor Adrian Williams one  of the world’s leading experts on the subject. His credentials are impressive. He began his pioneering sleep research at Harvard the late 1970s, then at UCLA. In the mid-1990s, he set up of the one of the UK’s first comprehensive sleep services at St Thomas’s hospital and in 2010, King’s College, London appointed him as the first substantive Professorial Chair in Sleep Medicine in the UK. 

In the interview, we run through why we sleep, the consequences of the lack of sleep, the stages of sleep including Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or dream phase. We also get practical. We talk how long we should sleep, wearable tech, jet lag, the impact of caffeine, alcohol and sleeping pills and how to get a good nights rest. By the way, make sure to subscribe, rate and review!

Here are the timings [mm:ss] for different sections of the interview:

  • Why do we need to sleep [1:42]
  • Lack of sleep similar to being drunk [3:43]
  • How much different animals sleep. [4:08]
  • Human's sleep requirement is 8 hours. Impact of genes [4:41]
  • Consequences of lack of sleep [5:26]
  • Impact on neuro-cognitive functions [5:36]
  • Impact on cardio-vascular/sympathetic system and resultant  high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes issues [5:54]
  • Night shift workers as real-world case of sleep deprivation [7:02]
  • Large section of society is shift work related [8:01]
  • Morning larks vs night owls [8:40]
  • Sleep delayed syndrome. [9:35]
  • Hunger and sleep. [10:25]
  • Society has lack of sleep, which leads to obesity [11:20]
  • Non-REM and REM sleep. The 90 minute cycle. [12:10]
  • Non-REM and its restorative effects. [12:30]
  • REM sleep rewires brain [12:51]
  • Stage of night when REM and non-REM sleep occur. [14:05] 
  • Skin repair and non-REM sleep [14:30]
  • Dreaming [15:03]
  • Best time to wake-up [15:35]
  • The (pre-industrial) natural sleep timings [16:42]
  • Exercise helps sleep [18:22]
  • Siestas [19:49]
  • Catching up on sleep [20:57]
  • Cannot bank sleep.[22:17]
  • Wearables sleep tech [22:30]
  • Future is non-wearables tech [24:03]
  • Caffeine and sleep [26:15] 
  • Alcohol and sleep [27:44]
  • Sleeping pills [28:20]
  • Melatonin [28:59]
  • Melatonin helps overcome jet lag [29:46].
  • How to overcoming jet lag [31:00]
  • Age and sleep [32:10 ]
  • Traffic accident, sleepiness and time of day [34:35]
  • Sleep disorders/apnea [35:45]. 
  • Snoring as sign of sleep disorder [37:08]
  • Top tips to get good sleep [40:00]

 

I recently watched Captain Marvel, which introduces the final new superhero before we get the last Avengers movie – Endgame in late April. It’s great entertainment but also continues the metaphysical or God theme that been running throughout the Avengers movies, especially around the idea of the Infinity Stones and the villain Thanos.

In this podcast, I weave the stories together to describe how the Marvel Universe and by extension the modern world understands the meaning of God. You won't hear this take on a Marvel movie anywhere else!

 

Young people often ask me for advice, and over the years I've refined my thinking on what to say. I've ended up on 5 pieces of advice that would make the biggest difference and I wish someone had given them to me when I was young:

1) Get a mentor.

2) Learn, learn, learn

3) Understand the false god of money

4) Give charity  

5) Run towards pain

In this podcast, I discuss each in detail and even though I said this was advice for my younger self, it would apply to all ages. 

There are a bewildering array of diets: GI, Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic, Dukan, Scandinavian LCHF, Banting, Bulletproof, South Beach. It goes on and on. 

All of these have there strong advocates and so it’s hard to decide which one to opt for. Thankfully, the work of Professor Valter Longo,an expert on ageing, cuts through these all to find the best diet to live long and healthy. I summarise the main findings of his "longevity" diet, which include suggestions like eating mainly vegan to time restricted eating. 

Rather than focusing on making money, I talk about spending money - a neglected topic. There has been some good research in this space, which comes to concrete conclusions. Pulling together the research, there appears to be 7 principles we should follow when to deciding what to spend our money on. I discuss each.