with CK


Expanding beyond our own personal systems to synergize emergent phenomena inside the third space.

December 21, 2020

Practice Session #43

Welcome to my show notes for this week’s session of Practice!

We record these sessions every Sunday. I try to publish the audio on the same day of recording, but once in a while, I may get delayed due to various reasons.

Also, I will usually have the AI-generated transcript and my initial notes published on the same day of recording as well. On Fridays, I’ll (try to) go back through and proof the transcript while I add all of my notes.

I’ll be utilizing this opportunity to clarify and elaborate on points that I may not have conveyed as well as I would’ve liked to. I’ll also provide links to further information and resources.

So, on Friday, I’ll intersperse all my notes with the transcription from the audio below (unless I don’t 🤷).



CK: Alrighty. Ready? Here we go.

Heyo! I’m CK, and you’re listening to Practice. I’m your functional systems integrator, and this is my podcast where practice is not just the theme of the show, but the whole purpose behind it. What started out as a practice of podcasting, as well as speaking in general, has evolved into a practice of self-coaching and self-reflection while espousing half-thoughts and providing unsolicited advice.

As always, I’m fortunate to be joined by my Practice partner and partner in life: Pam.

Pam: Hey, that’s me.

CK: Pam is also my pattern awareness manager, and every Sunday we reflect on the past week and my progress with this practice, along with other lifestyle practices, as well as theories and ideas behind the virtues of practice itself.

We’re doing this on the fly, so don’t hold me responsible for what I say here. Make sure to check out my show notes where I’ll provide some fact-checking, self-psychoanalysis and commentary on things I could have done better. You may find this and more information about this project at ForcesOfEqual.com/Practice.

Catch up with the Anomaly and the Linchpin.


We’re recording today, on December 20th of 2020, and this is practice session number 43.

And the quote for this week comes from stoic philosopher, Epictetus. And I’ve quoted Epictetus many times before in the quote goes like this, take a liar player. He’s relaxed when he performs alone. But put them in front of an audience and it’s a different story, no matter how beautiful his voice or how well he plays the instrument.

Why? Because he not only wants to perform well. He wants to be well-received in the latter, lies outside his control. And again, that comes from Epictetus. So before we go into things, I should mention that we are dog sitting. This weekend. And we had a surprise dog sitting visitor this morning, and I think we’ve had Leila here before,

and she’s very squeaky.


Pam: hopefully she’ll calm down, but if you hear weird noises in the background, it’s a dog.

CK: Yeah, we had a little trouble getting started because she was being very squeaky. Yeah. So, yeah. Let’s get this over with so we can get back to playing with Leila.

Pam: So I was confused when you started that quote, when you said liar player, because I was thinking L I a R like a player, like a person who Bluffs, not a, not an instrument player. So just to like clear that up in case anyone’s not familiar with what that instrument is.

CK: Yeah, we’re not talking about poker here talking about a harp Lake instrument.

Pam: I actually thought it was kind of a good quote in that perspective that someone can be disingenuous and untruthful on their own. But as soon as they start interacting with other people, their, um, lives would be exposed and they wouldn’t be as effective. And then once I realized that you were talking about music, I was like, Oh, okay.

That has, that’s not the connotation.

CK: So let me, yeah, let me go through the quote real quick again with that in mind. So it goes like this take a liar player. He’s relaxed when he performs alone, like put them in front of an audience and it’s a different story. No matter how beautiful his voice or how well he plays the instrument.

Why? Because he not only wants to perform well. He wants to be well-received and the ladder lies outside his control. And this actually came up this morning during my morning routine. And I don’t know what the deal is these past two weeks, but I haven’t had a quote ready on the day of recording before I had, I was having like multiple codes speak out to me, but.

Yeah, I’m not sure what’s going on. Maybe it’s just, I don’t know what it is, but anyway, this one came up today this morning and it, I, I mean, I really liked it. It’s interesting. Maybe because it kind of fits in with a lot of the things that I’ve been thinking about this past week and that has to do with interactions and communication between.

Two people or two different groups. And like the quote States that, you know, when you’re alone, you can pretty much act however you want and perform without any notions or anxieties. In terms of other people observing you, but then when you get in a scenario where there’s other people there and you’re being observed, the circumstances change, things are different and you can’t perform the same way.

And I mean, this kind of brings up a lot of different things in my mind and hopefully I can keep things organized, but yeah, it’s all kind of connecting right now in this moment. So we’ll get into our reflections and see what I can do with this coat. So. I want to start out by saying, it feels like it’s been a long time since we recorded last.

Like, it feels weird to think that last weekend was my birthday weekend.

Pam: I was thinking the same thing this morning. I said to myself that we had been home for two weeks, but it’s only been a week, right?

CK: Yeah, it’s crazy. And I think a lot of that has to do with my productivity this past week. That was legal and I, I was super productive over the past week and I think I talked about my productivity and scheduling tendencies and how I was looking to. Kind of get my routines settled a little more in terms of how I think my schedule would go.

What would be better? In terms of fitting in my creative endeavors versus strategic or more objective endeavors. And so I tried a couple different things over the past week and some of these things are strategies that I’ve been considering. And so I kind of started implementing them. So the main thing is before.

And I mentioned this before. I used to be very regimented with my daily routines and my daily schedule. And I’m still pretty regimented with my routines, but I had become less regimented with my schedule. And before it was based around a Pomodoro, um, what’s it called? Pomodoro technique. Yeah. And I was doing twenty-five minutes sessions with a five minute break and I was basically cycling through that.

Throughout the entire day. And I would stick to that as much as I could. And usually I would stick to that pretty well. And I was going through that cycle and it was good for my strategic endeavors and to keep me in a focus mode during that 25 minute session and to give my brain that opportunity to get in the diffuse mode during that five minute break.

And then as I took that and. Went into creative work. I kind of kept that same scheduling and I came to realize that I wasn’t able to get into the creative flow that I wanted to get into. And so I started switching things up with my schedule and kind of got relaxed from the Pomodoro technique. And then I kind of.

Got off track completely with my schedule and just, it was just kind of free-flowing and, you know, I lost track of my exercise breaks. So I usually do some sort of exercise during that five minute break. While I’m thinking about whatever other things or consolidating whatever I was doing during the 25 minute work period.

But yeah, it just kind of all that kind of fell off. And I was just kind of doing things on the fly and in some respects that was beneficial. But in other respects, I felt like I was kind of getting away from the organ organization that I was used to and the rhythm that I was in before. And so I feel like I need to get, or I felt like I needed to get back into some sort of rhythm and have some kind of strategy and some kind of template to follow every week.

And so what I’ve been doing is kind of. Going every other day in terms of having more focused mode periods. So like on, like I mentioned, I think last week, you know, you, Pam was saying how you, you were saying how Thursdays were a good day for Sagittarius is because they’re Jupiter Jupiter’s day. And. And then that led me to think how, you know, I, I do have productive Thursdays.

And so what I did last week, or this past week was on Tuesday and Thursday, I made those my focus days and did my Pomodoro, um, Kept my Pomodoro cycles on those days. And I was super productive on both of those days. And then the other days, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I let off that and kind of let my brain be a little more free flowing and more creative and spend more time in that diffuse mode and enjoyed time in that state.

And that seemed to work really well for me over the past week. And I got a ton of stuff done and things are going really well on the not bad advice front. So let’s talk about that a little bit. So yeah, I, I, so I think, you know, this podcast with practice, we started it out as something where I could practice talking and get better with speaking.

And also practice podcasting and also. Dispose, you know, the virtues of practice itself. And so I kind of want to get back into, you know, talking about podcasting and stuff like that because I’m still learning a lot. And, um, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with audio and post-processing lately. And especially with that bad advice. You know, coming out now we’re, uh, the third episode will be coming up this coming week. So we’re getting in a good flow with that. So I kind of want to get back to talking about podcasting a little bit more, and I think we can use this opportunity to maybe provide some commentary about the process with not bad advice and things that we might be encountering and discovering. do you want to start, do you want to mention anything about your experience with publishing? Not bad advice so far?

Pam: Um, I would just say that the biggest lesson. Something that comes up anytime you’re doing something new, but it’s that everything takes longer than you think it’s going to, like when, you know, from every little thing, like creating graphics for the YouTube channel or, um, figuring out how to export an audiogram or like promoting on social, like everything that you do when it’s new is going to take.

Four to 10 times longer than you think that it actually should. So like, don’t get frustrated with that and just build in a lot of time and keep your expectations loose.

CK: That’s great. Great advice. And I, Oh man, what am I? What was I thinking about? I just totally blanked.

Pam: I can fill in while you’re thinking.

CK: Yeah, go ahead.

Pam: Another thing is that whatever your expectations are of your work there, way higher than what everyone else. Is expecting from you. So don’t limit yourself or not release something because you think that it’s not perfect. You know, all of the feedback that we’ve gotten from the first couple of episodes has been fantastic and people love the content.

And no one has said anything about sound quality or, you know, any of the things that we were worried about. Or I was worried about the fact that I take so many deep breaths because I was nervous or that I sound nervous and no one cares, like, just get it out there.

CK: Yeah. Yeah. You’re definitely much more critical about your own work than others are of it.

Pam: Also don’t let someone who has never done what you’re doing. Criticize your work.

CK: Yeah, great point. And that, uh, that’s great because now I remember what I was thinking about. So yeah. So the thing that’s interesting for me throughout this process is that before. I would have wanted the whole strategy, you know, laid out and a plan of what we’re going to be doing once we published with like the marketing and everything around that. Especially since you know, we’re marketers, we come from marketing and I’m familiar with working with clients and setting out a strategy and having a plan and everything set, you know, You have schedules for when everything’s going to happen, but we used a more agile approach with this and we got the web, we got the episodes published and we didn’t really have a marketing plan.

It was kind of more on the fly and I don’t necessarily mind doing it that way because it. Allows us to get stuff out more quickly. I mean, it’s the whole agile methodology, know, we’re able to get episode published instead of waiting to have our entire strategy created, however long that would have taken and, you know, having everything perfectly in place before we launched. And that, you know, that probably would have taken longer not to mention. We probably wouldn’t have gotten everything incorporated. Like we will probably wouldn’t have thought of everything.

Pam: Well, and let me relate this back to the quote. Because when you were saying the quote, one of the things that I was thinking about is that, um, some of the best advice that I’ve ever gotten for creating things for, for doing anything, whether it’s a business or, um, or making art or anything, is to just start doing it without an audience, because you’re going to need to practice.

And if you, if you built up your audience first, somehow, and then you put out your creation, there’s so much more pressure. Then, if you just start with your 10 friends that listen or see it. So this slow rollout makes me more comfortable putting myself out there than I think I would have been if we did some sort of like huge.

Launch, especially cause the first few episodes are going to be our worst ones because they’re the first ones that we did. So I think that it makes me have less performance, anxiety and less concerned about how I am received.

CK: Yeah. That’s a great point. And. I love how you connected that back to the quote that fits perfectly. And it goes to speak to how we’re affected by our super systems.

Okay. To add on to that notion. Another reason that that quote stood out to me this morning is. Because of something else that Pam brought up this morning in terms of how we work together. And I want to mention that last week, Pam, or was it last week? I was mentioning how I I’m trying to adopt the agile methodology more because I see the benefits of it.

And especially the more I do it. But after recording that session last week, I like immediately after recording, I thought about it a little more. Right then I was like, Pam is like, In agile methodologist. Is that word, is it like you do like you, a lot of things like your tendency is to be agile. So I’ve, I feel like we work well together that way, because I’m trying to become more agile, but I still have a lot of strategic and.

Analytical processes. So that part of me helps with, you know, being more strategic, strategic to your more agile tendencies.

Pam: I

CK: But at the same time, yeah. Like.

Pam: you were saying that you wanted a marketing plan. I w like you said, that my immediate reaction was like, even though I’m in marketing, that’s just not how I work. I’m very like on the fly, which, you know, I think is kind of crazy for how organized I am in other ways. But when it comes to this kind of stuff, like I hate strategic planning.

Absolutely hate it. Love it with money. But when it comes to marketing, hate it. Like, I love to do things on the fly or create on the fly. So I had never considered myself agile until you said that. And I realized, yeah, he’s really strategic and I’m the exact opposite. So that’s really funny to just like, have that awareness and that you also had it.

CK: Yeah, totally. And that’s why we were able to get not bad advice released. And, you know, it took us longer to release it because of my more strategic and analytic tendencies, but we got it released quicker than we typically would have because Pam is more agile. Like you have, you’re able to develop all these, uh, and this is another kind of slice.

Where you seem to be more of a conceptual, creative, where you come up with something and you just put it out versus what we’ve talked about before with my tendencies being a more experimental creative, where I just want to keep trying and trying and try out every variable and iterate and iterate until it’s perfect.

Pam: And what’s funny about that is my perception. My entire life was that that was because I was lazy, right. That I didn’t want to work hard at something. So I would just throw it out there. And I saw you as someone who was a really hard worker, like I never saw you as lazy. Like I saw myself as lazy, but now I’m seeing it not as lazy as.

More agile, like you’re saying, and that, you know, it’s just because I get, I get frustrated if I have to work too hard at something, but that doesn’t mean I’m lazy. Like I worked my tail off just in a different way. So having that shift

CK: right.

Pam: pretty, pretty cool.

CK: Yeah, it’s just a different way of thinking. And it’s crazy that we’re just kind of realizing this now after almost 12 years of being together.

Pam: Well, I, well, I also wanted to comment and say that the final product is better because of your meticulousness and your work at it. Like what I would have put out if it was on my own would have been. it, but like the content would have been the same, but the product, the Polish would not have been there.

So we need both sides there.

CK: Yeah. And that’s the exact point that I want to reiterate here is that now. We understand that with the both of us. Uh, so I was actually trying to relate this to the quote, but it actually kind of goes further than that. So the quote to me, another reason that stood out to me this morning was that, you know, there’s the notion that.

When you’re alone and doing something, you don’t have that pressure of observers on you and, Oh man. Now I’m thinking of the particle wave duality and the Heisenberg effect. Uh, uh, yeah, I don’t know

Pam: Get back on

CK: to get into it, but. But, uh, where was I? Oh, okay. So that notion of being observed versus being alone also can be expanded to just an interaction.

So, you know, when two people interact with each other, it’s not just one side plus another side. There’s a third space. There’s like a third force or a third thing that comes out of it. And this could be related to just all psychology or complex systems and emergent phenomenon. Where basically, you know, if we’re talking about something like first principles where you want to boil something down to the foundational elements, a lot of times, especially with complex systems, when you boil something down to its constituent parts and you look at those, like, for example, let’s take music.

For example, I’ve been. Doing a lot of music stuff lately. So I think this is a good metaphor. When you take like a musical piece, obviously it’s made up of a bunch of different notes and if you boil it down, like music boil down into first principles is notes. And if you look at each note individually, You’re going to have no idea what that whole musical piece sounds like in the end.

You just know the sounds of the notes. You know, there’s no, it’s not all put together. There’s no composition. It’s just a sound, it’s not music, but when you put all those notes together in a way that’s harmonic or whatever way, It’s different than those notes individually. So, you know, you can’t put, I mean, so let’s, you can take a style and boil it down to the notes.

And when you look at the notes, you can’t, you won’t necessarily be able to see the song, like the notes can be put together a whole bunch of different ways. And so it’s the specific way that they’re put together that makes the song, and it creates this emergent phenomena out of all these constituent parts.

So the sum is greater than the whole of its parts. And that’s, that goes to speak towards just thought psychology, which is basically the same concept. And so it’s this, we can also talk about communication science, where before the theory was between sender and receiver, you know, there’s a person that sends a message and a person that receives the message and that was interaction, but there’s also context.

So a message can change depending on the context. And that context could be the third. That third space or that emergent phenomena. And so, you know, if the context is different, The sender could be sending something, whatever the senators sending it’s the same thing, but the receiver could be receiving it differently depending on the context.

So, yeah, I’m kind of rambling on and on here, but it just goes to show that when. So like with me and Pam, this, this is where I was, this is what I’m trying to get to with me and Pam, you know? So we’re two people and we have our own knowledge and tendencies and intelligence and

Pam: And hangups and problems and

CK: Yeah. W we’re two individuals and we’re good at what we do.

And we do what we do, but when we come together and put our powers, I don’t know it I’m trying to come up with, but yeah, when we put our powers together, it’s not just this, it doesn’t add up to just my stuff and Pam stuff. It adds up to something greater. Then just our stuff. And so it’s not, you know, CK plus Pam equals C can P uh, sorry.

It’s not just, I can’t even say our names.

Pam: It’s not CK and Pam plus CK. It’s not CK. Plus Pam equals K plus Pam it’s CK. Plus Pam equals forces of equal.

CK: There you go. Nice. Nice. I love that. So yeah, I think, uh, that’s I think I got across what I want to get across. Does that make sense?

Pam: Yeah. So let’s relate it for other people who maybe don’t have a CK or a Pam, which is that, um, if you’re creating something, um, and you’re alone that maybe putting. What you’re doing out there could attract people who could help you make it bigger and better. Like don’t, don’t hide what you’re creating out of, um, fear or, you know, whatever, whatever it is, that’s preventing you from sharing.

It starts sharing it where it’s at, and you could make connections that make it bigger and better, you know? And you don’t know until you start sharing it.

CK: Yeah, it’s all about the feedback. So the feedback is that the second part of the equation. So if there’s you and you being the first part of the equation, then there’s the feedback being the second part. Whether it’s, you know, whether it’s a Pam or whether it’s someone else that someone else out in the world that sees your work and that feedback can create that third element.

So, yeah. Great point. It’s all about feedback. So yeah, I think that’s what I want to get across this week. Do you have anything you want to talk about? Anything going on with the

Pam: We do have a very big, um, astronomical event happening, which is that Jupiter and Saturn are the closest that they have been to each other for 200 years. So, um, They are in the sign of Aquarius, which is like invention and new ideas. It’s a, it’s a sign that’s really about thought and thinking about things in new ways.

So we have Aquarius invention thinking about things in new ways. We have Jupiter, which is positivity and expansion, and we have Saturn, which is responsibility. And long-term lessons. So those things kind of feel like maybe they don’t really jive together, like expansion. What does that have to do with responsibility and boundaries?

And like, it feels like they don’t really fit together, but they, they do in the way that, um, those three things come together to make the other, the bigger thing. Right. Um, new ideas that manifest. Into concrete accomplishments. So right now is a really good time to take your new ideas and put them out there because they are primed for long-term success.

CK: Hmm. Yeah, that sounds good. To me. It sounds very pertinent. So yeah, that’s all we got for this week. So thank you listeners for joining me as always. Thank you, Pam, for joining me as always. And where can people find you?

Pam: You can find me on Twitter, where I am at Pamela underscore lung, and maybe in the show notes, we could include the YouTube channel for not bad advice. Cause we need to get some subscribers there so we can get the customer.

CK: okay. Yeah, we started a new YouTube channel and we’re just putting the nut bed advice episodes on there with the audio gram and yeah, make sure to check that out. Check out that bad advice. Forces of equal.com/advice. Also check out practice forces of equal.com/practice. And that’s it. So thanks for joining me as always.

And I hope you come back next week. Oh wait. You can also find me on Twitter at CK disco and I’m getting a little more and more social lately on social media. So we’ll see how that goes. But yeah. Thanks for joining me as always. And I hope you come back next week and keep on practicing.


It’s taken me until the age of 40 to feel comfortable in my own skin. Now I’m trying to find my voice.

CK Chung

CK Chung

The Anomaly

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