I first encountered Krishna Pendyala when my real estate company hired a financial firm from Pittsburgh to assist in money management. During a “getting to know you” meeting, I told them about Rewire Me and they told me about Krishna, their COO at that time, who is also a life coach with unique insights into the human condition. Krishna and the owner of the firm, John Waldron, had been friends for many years and Krishna had been originally hired to help John develop the company, but his real passion was always inspiring corporate, academic, and spiritual audiences with his lectures on personal and professional growth through inner awareness.
John Waldron sent me a copy of Beyond the PIG and the APE signed by Krishna (reviewed here on Rewire Me). I was so excited when I read it and immediately drawn to his insightful acronyms—the PIG is the personification of the part of us that Pursues Instant Gratification above all; the APE is the part that Avoids Painful Experiences. I reached out to Krishna and we’ve been friends ever since!
During the next several days I’ll share our conversations about the book, the ego, intuition, and many other topics. I hope your enjoy our chats—we sure did!
ROSE: I love Beyond the PIG and the APE. When did you decide to write it?
KRISHNA: I decided to write a book back in 1996. And I started writing it because I was motivated to share what I had been through in the hopes that other people didn’t have to go through my pain—that was the motivation. I wanted to share plainly, not using science, not using research, but sharing stories about life, incidents, and anecdotes, because that’s what people can relate to…that’s when we learn.
I was also big into self-esteem at that time. I looked at how not having good self-esteem can be the source of a lot of different problems because we can’t handle criticism. Anytime somebody points out a mistake we take it personally, and we don’t learn and grow. So, for almost ten years, I was very involved in how to raise people’s self-esteem.
ROSE: In the book you write about an attempted suicide. Did you find that your self-esteem work was helping you to heal?
KRISHNA: Yes. Absolutely. And then I began watching the world out there (including myself), and I saw an inability to delay gratification. This became more and more apparent with electronics, video games, instant food, instant everything. If we learned how to delay gratification, we could overcome a lot of our pain. I realized that I created a lot of my pain myself—it was not thrust upon me. Maybe a little bit of it was thrust upon me, but my reaction to it was the rest of the problem.
So, how do you manage this? How do you learn to deal with, to play with pain? How do you learn to integrate it, to transmute it?
In that learning process, delaying gratification became a key piece. Self-esteem didn’t leave me when I delayed gratification. As I was studying instant gratification, that’s when the PIG showed up in my life. The PIG became Pursuing Instant Gratification.
And then I was looking more deeply into “Is that it?” But no. That’s not the only way we make our choices—we also make them to avoid pain. And that’s when the APE showed up—Avoiding Painful Experiences. Both started out as acronyms, but as if magically, the behavior of the animals fit the names.
My whole intention of writing this book was to hope that my pain and my journey would save somebody else some amount of heartache. And it has.
ROSE: And I know it will continue to do so.
Tomorrow, Rose talks with Krishna Pendyala about egos, monkey minds, and letting our children fall.
- Editors’ Pick: Beyond the PIG and the APE, by Krishna Pendyala
- Conversations with Krishna Pendyala (Part II): Egos, monkey minds, and letting our children fall
- Conversations with Krishna Pendyala (Part III): Distinguishing between intuition and instinct
- Conversations with Krishna Pendyala (Part IV): Three levels of choice
- Conversations with Krishna Pendyala (Part V): The Mindful Nation Foundation