This Sustainable Life
360: Sparta could make history
Here are the notes I read from on recounting the potential I saw for the Spartan Race community and its founder, Joe De Sena, if they chose to prioritize environmental stewardship.
- Context: Joe: carries chain up 1,000-foot hill, brings others with him, invites people to climb hill for 24 hours, leads to Spartan Run.
- Brings people up to carry boulders up steep hill, which they pay to do.
- Community: Integrity, personal motivation, fun, supportive
- Tasks: Learn about yourself, great joy, striving, constantly improving They understand the mental and physical side, learning, growing, deeper satisfaction and reward than cookies and ice cream.
- Got me to go to Vermont and run up and down hill seven times.
- Environment: abysmal: trash, doof, little fruits and vegetables, bottles, ignoring well water, no natural fibers
- Texts from kids
- But huge potential. 7 million members. They know you have to go through uncertainty, pain, struggle, mostly self-doubt, your mind telling you reasons to stop, working through them.
- I've spoken with world-class leaders. Joe and his community see what to do and have lived doing it in other areas.
- Competitors included blind, one foot, 61-year-old, black, white, hispanic, carrying 100-pound load, loads of kids.
- I proposed one trash bag per event that all have to use and only fill
- one, maybe one recycling container, but keep it empty too.
- No single-rider cars. Joe said needed big fine. Given their integrity, I
- proposed internal motivation. After speaking I thought instead give them cash and time off their finishing time so the'll go on record as having beaten people they didn't deserve to.
- If Joe and his team act on my ideas, could become first main community to lead. They'll enjoy the process -- eating healthier, saving money, carpooling -- they'll enjoy discovering nature too.
- Everything they get now in mind and body, they'll re-create in their
- relationship with nature.
677: Roz Savage, part 1: It's Doable and You Can Do It. One Oar Stroke at a Time
Roz could have stopped at rowing solo across oceans to world records, awards, and national honors.She didn't. She had done those things for a purpose: helping make our world more livable, less polluted. They gave her greater skills to appreciate her purpose and implement it better.As with most people, the challenges looked insurmountable to her. But unlike most people, she had once made a list to row across an ocean and, finding no impossible steps, she did it. Over and over. It's easy to look at her today and figure, "of course she could do it. She's an ocean rower. She was born that way," or something like that. But before she did it, she was a disgruntled employee and spouse looking for meaning and a way to improve her world, not a record-holding athletic champion.So also unlike most people, she looked at what sustainability would take, saw no impossible steps, and knew she could help achieve it. That's my read.I would have been happy to host her for the athletic achievements alone, but they were all stepping stones for greater service to humanity.She describes her latest book, The Ocean in a Drop and her life experience and goals.Roz's web page, which links to her other books, videos, and more. You'll love it.
676: Paulina Porizkova, part 1: No Filter
One of the most famous supermodels, Paulina needs no introduction.She's here because mutual friends introduced us and her recent book, No Filter, that tells a different story than you'd expect of the once-most-highly-paid model. It deserves the positive reviews from the New York Times and elsewhere. As she describes in our conversation, she spent formative years behind the iron curtain, ingraining in her how to thrive with less, not more, which she caries with her until today. She also wasn't always considered beautiful. I'll leave you to read the book to learn about the toilet bowl incident we allude to in our conversation.In any case, you'll hear someone much more approachable, humble, and resilient that you'd expect.We recorded in the winter. She agreed to meet me in Washington Square Park to pick up litter together when the weather warmed up. Since models make great role models, the event could help change minds, behavior, and culture. I can't wait to tell you how it went.
675: Derek Sivers, part 1: Leading versus Exploring Frontiers
I bring leaders from all areas to sustainability. The challenges to changing culture to sustainability aren't in technology, science, journalism, activism, or politics, though all those fields are relevant. Their practitioners generally aren't skilled in what changes culture: the social and emotional skills of leadership. Most people don't know that living more sustainably improves their lives, not the reversion to the Stone Age or Mad Max apocalypse our culture teaches us to fear.From the start of the conversation, Derek distinguished that he sees himself as an explorer, not a leader. He's exploring the frontiers of life following his whim or what he finds around him. He suggests that leaders give more direction to others to help them follow. He acknowledged with a "touché" that he does have a lot of followers, one of my main measures of a leader.The next day, he posted to his page some related thoughts in, Explorers are bad leaders, which sparked lively debate in his comments. Many suggested more overlap than you might think.His distinction led me to consider my role. I hadn't thought about seeing myself as exploring the frontier, but I have been. When I've had the option of leading others and exploring more frontier, I've generally chosen to explore more frontier.Some examples: avoiding packaged food seemed impossible and took me six months to start. When I succeeded, instead of helping others follow that difficult challenge, sharing recipes and how I did it, I then chose not flying. Avoiding flying seemed harder than avoiding packaged food. When I succeeded in making a better life without it, instead of helping people along, I unplugged my fridge, then my apartment.Maybe I'm exploring the frontier of sustainability more than leading. Still, it's funny to call a frontier territory where all humans lived for 300,000 years. I'm working on developing leadership skills and techniques that work.Anyway, listen to the episode to hear how Derek got me thinking about my role and what's next for sustainability. We geek out on emacs, vi, and such things. I think I can safely say he sounded intrigued and will likely be back.Derek's home page, which links to all his work