This Sustainable Life


281: People don't want to do small things. They want to do meaningful things.

Ep. 281

The notes I read from for this episode:

  • People don't want to do small things. They want to do things that matter.
  • Stop telling people small things they can do except as part of everything. Find things that you care about, that you notice.
  • And stop measuring against a global problem. Ask yourself if you care. Do you care when you see litter in your neighborhood, then pick it
  • up. If you care, you'll get something out of it.
  • If you care about sea level rise, do something big to act on it. For your values. Who cares if you aren't fixing the world's problems all by yourself. If you're improving your life, you'll enjoy doing it anyway.
  • What does it do to you to know you're hurting others but still doing it anyway, no matter how much you can say doing different doesn't make a difference. What are you here for, to give up? To do what you think others shouldn't because they are too? Believe it or not, if you want to make a big, measurable difference, whatever you do will achieve it fastest and most effectively.
  • In a world where billions are craving someone to follow, several of you who act soon will become leaders of your communities, companies,
  • neighborhoods, and countries.
  • Do you want a raise at work? Show you can take and fulfill responsibility. Show your values and live by them so they know you.
  • Hiding what you care about and blaming others won't get you promoted. Listen to my guests who started companies, reached leadership positions in places like Apple, Google, and the Federal Government by taking responsibility and acting on the environment.
  • They are the future. Be the future. Stop pussyfooting around with straws and excuses that the plane was going to fly anyway.

The posts I mentioned:

More Episodes


661: Daniel, host of What is Politics?, part 1: Dominance, subjugation, hierarchy, and solutions

Ep. 661
I can't tell you how valuable (and entertaining) I found Daniel's video series.Regular listeners and readers may know how important I find anthropology to solving our environmental problems. If we want to change our culture, we have to know why it is this way, how other structures have worked, and how we can change.I started realizing this importance when I noticed that I had read podcast guest Sebastian Junger's book Tribe the day I unplugged my apartment. It showed me what we lack in our culture that others have: freedom, equality, community, connection, and what we value when calm, not bombarded with ads and feeling guilt, shame, helplessness, and hopelessness. It gave me something to look forward to beyond being able to fly to see the Eiffel Tower whenever I wanted.Next, reading The Dawn of Everything, another book on anthropology, showed a variety of cultures I hadn't known. We don't have to feel constricted to "returning to the Stone Age." But that book left open its main question: why are we stuck in our current culture?Enter What Is Politics?. In the series, Daniel clarifies what a lot of loose terms mean, thereby simplifying how to understand politics. It led me to understand why we're stuck and what we have to do to free ourselves.Daniel and I went to town talking politics, anthropology, hierarchies, how and why they form, sustainability, and more.Normally when my conversations go longer than an hour, I break them into parts, but if you like our conversation, you'll keep listening. I expect what we cover here and his series covers to ground a lot of what we have to do to change global culture. I'll close by reminding you of my mission statement on my bio page:My mission is to help change American (and global) culture on sustainability and stewardship from expecting deprivation, sacrifice, burden, and chore to expecting rewarding emotions and lifestyles, as I see happen with everyone I lead to act for their intrinsic motivations.In my case the emotions have been joy, fun, freedom, connection, meaning, and purpose.Everyone’s experience will be unique to his or her experience, but I know we all love nature so I don’t have to change anyone. I reveal what’s already there.