Leadership and the Environment


296: Solutions have to work for everyone

Ep. 296

In this episode I describe how important I consider the accessibility of my personal behavior solutions -- a matter of integrity, not to be confused with behavior to influence others, which is a matter of leadership.

Here are my notes I read from for this episode.

Access and its importance to me. Food available in food desert. I spend nearly no money on fitness. Yes, I live in a nice neighborhood, but I don't make much more than the average American. I treat Greenwich Village as a village -- that is, I try to meet my neighbors, local farmers, local shopkeepers, and not try to escape every few months. I don't buy expensive things like Marie Kondo sells. I buy little I don't need. My most exotic recent vacations include a ten-day meditation retreat a bus ride away and a train trip across the country.

My top food habits include foraging for food within walking distance, though some berries a subway ride away, and getting the most abundant and cheap vegetables in season. I eat more beans than almost anyone. I carry bags with me and sometimes containers and bring food home from events. I make my own sauerkraut and vinegar, which take minutes to prepare. I buy nearly all my clothes from thrift shops. I rarely eat out, nor do I waste money on soda, coffee, or doof, which most Americans spend thousands of dollars a year on. I don't spend money on a TV or any subscriptions and use my cell phone's hot spot for wifi. I air dry my clothes on a drying rack.

I haven't flown in years, saving more thousands of dollars. I don't think I've spent money on alcohol in years -- nothing against it, I've just come to prefer my calories come with nutrition. I haven't bought a book in years but read what I can online without paying or borrow from the library. I borrow about two or three books a month.

computer used, all free software $50 month for phone, internet, everything podcast not making money but costing nearly none while creating purpose $50 for microphone and a little for hosting. More for editing. Books cost little to write, substitute for tv My two couches I got free from neighbors, as anyone in New York City can if you check CraigsList free. For that matter, my mattress I got for a couple hundred dollars that way too. My kettle bells too. I scan CraigsList for months to find them and then pick them up by subway. you get the idea

I still buy things

no car or payments on it, under $20 week on subway some will say I was privileged no matter what they are reason for 2016 election result and maybe next one mom loved on welfare street, hence the 5 muggings, not particularly privileged. learned to connect with women on personality not spending money.

Picking up garbage for an hour while taking a walk. common practice because I trained myself so it makes me feel clean.

I cut my own hair. I used $1.90 in electricity last month and put my bill online to see.

For those who don't know, PhD physics programs pay tuition and give a stipend, so I incurred no cost there. If anything an opportunity cost in not earning money for the pay for equivalent work had I gone into finance or engineering. I'm still finishing paying for the MBA. I went to a public high school. I got into Columbia on my merits. My dad went there, but since Harvard wait-listed me, where I had no connections, I figure I didn't get in for legacy reasons.

My father's father made enough to pay for Columbia undergraduate and some of my apartment's down payment.

All of this adds up to accessibility. I know the tug to say, "Oh, something about him is special that makes it easier for him." Well, How to save I just mentioned is available to everyone. My splurges include my rowing machine, which I bought about ten years ago, and my kettle bells, also going back years. I bought them all used from CraigsList, including taking a 62 pound kettlebell home by subway.

If everyone can't do anything I do, I look for what everyone can. A solution that doesn't work for everyone doesn't work. Of course, food and vacation opportunities vary by location and climate, so I don't propose people follow my solutions exactly so much as the process and attitude to apply in their lives to solve for themselves what I've solved for myself in my life.

Not watching TV is available to everyone, as are bodyweight exercises and drying your clothes without a dryer.

If you think I have some way to do what you can't and you assign it to privilege, look inside yourself. What can you do besides judge others?

More Episodes


356: I was assaulted again this morning. Can I talk about it?

Ep. 356
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354: Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha, part 1: Front Line Pandemic Leadership

Ep. 354
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