1) We don’t know, and that’s Okay
Nick and I have very “deep” conversations that touch on broad and far-reaching topics.
From discussions on consciousness to the purpose of life, our conversations are not the ones you’ll hear at the bar on Thursday nights.
We understand that isn’t normal, but we also don’t care.
The subjects we touch on have such extensive implications that they seem too big or too complicated to find the correct answers.
We don’t position ourselves as people who know it all, nor do we believe that we will ever know everything but developing a better understanding and the pursuit of truth is what interests us the most.
When I started this podcast, I had the intention of creating it for people who “overthink things” or have heard “why does it matter?” when it comes to the most critical ideas our society and we as individuals face.
It is about conversations, a dialogue to exchange experiences and information in hopes that we might walk away a little bit better because of them.
I can say that I walked away better from many of the conversations I’ve had with Nick, and even if we don’t know it all, at least we’re willing to consider it all.
When I talked to Nick about his creative approach to problem-solving, he spoke about how he would meet with his teammates and just start throwing any and all ideas out on the table.
He talked about how most of these ideas weren’t good ones but conveyed the importance of being willing to present ideas that may have a chance of being built off of.
The more ideas you have, the more likely you are to find one that’s half decent enough to approach a problem. And just by engaging a problem is a foot in the right direction because it gives you the ability to try and revise along the way.
James Altucher talks about writing in this way, in that he looks as writing in a similar way of sculpting. The sculptor cannot create a sculpture if there isn’t a stone available to sculpt.
Same goes for other things we work on. If there’s nothing there, to begin with, how can we begin at all? How can we start to repair that relationship if the relationship doesn’t exist? How can we continue to build that business if the business doesn’t exist? How can we develop better skills in a specific area if we don’t even try working on the skillset at all?
This is pretty simple stuff, but it can all be tied back to the ability to present garbage ideas and go from there.
In this episode, Nick and I talk about pushing through the discomfort. We did a Yoga class last month which was a prime example of pushing through situations that we’d rather not be in but find ourselves in regardless.
Physical exercise is such an excellent conduit for placing ourselves in challenging situations that force us to go through difficulties and make us realize what we’re capable of on the other side.
When the body tells you that it doesn’t want to do another rep, another mile, another second in a particular position, these situations bring you to a mental place where you get to witness what types of decisions you make.
Do you decide to distract yourself? To make excuses? To make rationalizations? We all truly know what’s good for us and what’s not, but how many times have we talked ourselves out of something all in the name of being comfortable and instant gratification?
I know I have. Too many times than I’d like to admit. But we're graciously given repeated opportunities to challenge ourselves day in and day out, all the way from the living room, to the grocery store, to the gym.
It comes down to having the awareness to realize when you’re mind is tempting you to take the shortcut and become undisciplined. It’s in these moments when you get to realize what you’re capable of when you decide to push back, push through, and do more so that you can become more.
4) What’s Happening Now
As a musician, Nick has become accustomed to performing in front of strangers. This can be a scary thing to do.
What are they going to think of me? Are they going to like my work? Am I prepared enough? Am I good enough? Are all questions that can flood the brain when on the stand. This is why Nick has been pushing me to do an open mic comedy set so that I can grapple with these challenges.
We’ve had numerous conversations about performing, and he always talks about the power of leaving expectations out of it, and just going up to perform and be in that moment while you do so.
Nick talks about how when you pull away from what’s happening now, you can’t be yourself entirely, and because of that, you can’t fully display your talents to the best of your ability.
If you’re not a musician, a comedian, or any other type of performer, you can still apply this to your day-to-day lives in that when you pull away from what’s going on right in front of you; you’re not entirely invested in the present moment.
You can’t be fully in the conversation if you’re thinking about what’s coming next. You can’t be fully enjoying that movie if you’re thinking about what happened before you started watching it. You can’t be fully yourself while on a hike or simply sitting at home scrolling through your phone to find something that passes the time.
It’s one of the most challenging things to do, but when you can bring yourself to what’s happening right now and fully be there, you can also fully be yourself.
5) Things Take Time to Develop
“People miss out on relationships because they keep their conversations safe.” - Nick Hartman
Nick and I have abnormal conversations that most people would rather not discuss. Things like how we’re floating on a rock in outer space, or life and death, or the pursuit of the “good life.” These are things that are broad, complex, and even complicated on multiple levels in which most people in our society feel they don’t have time to deal with.
I want to talk about complicated and complex topics more often than not, but it’s just not sustainable in day-to-day conversations, nor should it be.
I think these topics deserve compassion and understanding so that way the conversations lead to growth rather than ego stroking.
It takes time to develop relationships, and in time you can hold more significant conversations with the people you’ve developed significant relationships with.
This is obvious in the sense that you’re more willing to share in-depth details of your life with your mother than you are with the guy at the gas station down the street. However, long-term thinking of developing significant relationships goes out the window when you pass judgment on another person or group of people who aren’t into talking about the same things you are.
If they’re not down to discuss interplanetary motion with you, then you shouldn’t hold that against them as much as you should become curious as to why they aren’t interested in and learning more about what they are interested in.
When you don’t start a conversation at all because they’re not what you’re into is limiting, whereas being open and trying to gain context of the other person is beneficial to both you and them.