Talking Tech, Personal Possibility, + Monkey Mind With Jason Silva
What a shot of espresso does for your energy level, Jason Silva does for your mind.
Jason is a Venezuelan-born filmmaker, modern-day philosopher, and self professed wonder-junkie. He is known as a master of “flow,” a state that allows him to tap into his intuition. Jason’s favorite vessel for capturing the grand epiphanies he experiences in flow state? Candid videos that have a habit of going viral through his passion project, Shots of Awe.
Jason has an impressive tracklist that includes everything from speaking at SXSW to being nominated for an Emmy for his hosting of National Geographic’s Brain Games. But none of this came easy. Jason believes that everything we want is on the other side of fear. The only way to jump over the fence and achieve your goals? Become a master of your own flow.
Want to know more? Read on. Jason shares even more insights on how technology is impacting our lives, why we all just need to get out of our own way, and what he’s working on next.
When did you first start creating videos? Why do you love filmmaking?
I’ve been making videos since 1994… First they were comedic spoofs with my brother. Eventually they became philosophical monologues about big ideas — digitized contemplations set to music and imagery. Basically I am obsessed with “capturing” fleeting moments of inspiration and digital video became the very best archive for my epiphanies.
Tell us about how Shots of Awe came to be and how you pair your love of filmmaking with philosophy.
Shots of Awe is my passion project, my diary, my commonplace book. It’s the outlet for my obsessions, explorations and curiosities. It’s a space to celebrate technology and human imagination. To see the videos spread like wildfire across the internet has been fantastic. Every videos is around 2–3 minutes of ecstatic articulation and empowered vocalization, all of it stream of consciousness. I love making these videos.
Tell us about what it takes for you to get into the flow state. You seem to do it so flawlessly in your videos! Any tips for those looking to recreate it themselves?
We need to get OUT OF OUR OWN WAY. Getting into flow is getting outside yourself, beside yourself.
Quieting the monkey mind, the inner critic, and tapping into something deeper, more intuitive. Flow is trust, surrender, faith. Flow is letting go. There are many flow “triggers”, including novelty, sports, travel, and more. I recommend people Google Flow Genome Project to learn more.
We’ll definitely do that. Speaking of Google, how do you think technology impacts how we connect and interact with others?
Technology is a double edged sword. It can extend as well as amputate.
It can make us more creative or less creative. At its best, technology is an extension of human agency and imagination, an extension of MIND. With the right tools we can overcome all of our limits. We can transcend limits, collapse geography and connect deeply.
As an evangelist for human possibility, what are things people can do to capture their full potentials and create their own realities?
Remember that reality is made of language: the words you use to map your reality MATTER. I always say people should remember to take an active role over their lives, to conceive, imagine, design and create. It sounds simple enough, but it requires courage, boldness and the realization that everything we want is on the other side of fear.
Tell us about the #RedefineBillionaire campaign. What was the inspiration behind it?
This was an idea popularized by Peter Diamandis from Singularity University and others. The message is simple: exponentially advancing technologies can liberate us from our biological shackles — so that we can achieve the impossible and positively impact a billion people. The new billionaire, then, is someone who positively impacts a billion People. I decided to make a video on the subject which you can see here:
At about.me, we believe in the importance of a simple, yet effective representation of who you are online. As someone who wears many hats as a filmmaker, speaker, tweeter, etc., why do you think people should invest in their online identity?
I believe our online identity is like a digital billboard — and we live in an attention economy. Thus our “digital billboard” matters — it’s how the world comes to know us, it’s the first interface beyond the meat-space, beyond your immediate neighbors. Your digital billboard spreads you throughout the digital universe. It’s your footprint. Your signature.
What’s next for you? What are you working on?
I just signed up for a new series with National Geographic called ORIGINS — it’s a new global series about the origins of the modern world. It will be grand and it will be cosmic. In the meantime I’ll continue to release Shots of Awe videos every week.
Originally published at blog.about.me on April 18, 2016.