How to make seaweed gin and cure parkinson's - Adam Nelson

Iso: hey, my name is and welcome to
the second episode of how we work.

so this week I have a conversation with my
buddy, Adam, who is a really good friend

of mine and someone who I feel like I
have some of the best conversations with.

Every time.

I have a conversation with Adam, I walk
away having learned something or thinking

about something in a different way,
or learn something about how he thinks

about the world that informs some way
that then I can think about the world.

, just like really, really good deep talks.

, when I shared this episode with Carla,
who's helping me out with this podcast.

What she responded is he's so wise.

And I think that's a really good
way to explain it, to explain him

and explain this conversation.

He just has a lot to say about making your
way through the world in a unique way.

He's had a really unique path.

He worked in tech for a long time.

He was a big part of the game
second life, which I'm sure a

lot of you are familiar with.

He went on to start a liquor
brand where he actually made stuff

like gin with wild forge Nori.

So really creative staff.

And now he's making a Parkinson's
drug, which I think is pretty amazing.

He doesn't have any background in
biotech, but he just saw the need.

His dad was getting sick and he
saw the need to make something.

And he's actually having
a lot of success with it.

And I think that's, what's so
interesting about him is he just jumps

into really disparate fields and the
way he's able to do that and the way

he's able to build confidence in these
different fields and what he thinks

about it, He's really taught me a lot.

And I think you'll learn a
lot from this conversation.

Shure MV7-8: So I actually met
him a long time ago, back in my

underground dinner days, I used
to run on underground supper club.

I called the wild kitchen.

And basically it was like a hundred
person, eight course tasting menus.

Everyone would sit in
these big communal tables.

And the idea was each course focused
on a couple of wild forage ingredients.

he approached me because he
had a winery and wanted to

partner on one of the dinners.

Um, so we did that together and just
kind of been friends since he'd . He's

just a really intriguing person.

So I'm very drawn towards him.

Iso: Overall, I think it was
just a really great talk and I

think you'll learn a lot from it.

I know I did.

, I actually split this into two episodes,
so this is the first half of it.

And you'll hear the second half next week.

I hope you enjoy it.

so I'm going to start off by just
asking you to Talk a little bit about

yourself like what you do what you've
done I've known you for a really long

time and I feel like every time I talk
to you I learn about some new career

you've had so do you think you could
just kind of briefly Go through the

things you've worked on over the years.

Adam: Sure, I'd be happy to try.

Um, sometimes actually when I talk
to you, I remember things I've

done that I'd forgotten I had done.

So, um, let me try and lay it out.

I think the, the bulk of my career
has been spent I worked in technology.

I essentially designed software,
built software, managed

organizations that built software.

Um, I've done that, I did that
for about 25 years actually.

And I had a very particular expertise
that developed while I was doing that.

Uh, which is in complex systems
behavior, so how, um, generally

how millions of people interface
with millions of other people in

unpredictable ways, so it's mostly
behavioral systems versus, you know,

technology systems or anything like that.

And behavioral systems work is
particularly useful in everything from.

Uh, consumer behavior to military
and intelligence to large video

games, um, it can be applied
in all sorts of different ways.

And so that's really, as soon as
I gained a love for the craft of

behavioral systems theory, I, it took
me into a lot of different spaces.

So my expertise was in that.

My medium was generally software and, um,
I worked in a consulting company where

we did organizational change, design, um,
sort of big pro solutions to big problems

for various corporations and governments.

I did that for about 10 years.

Um, then I moved into, I worked
for a very formative company.

In my life called Linden Lab, and they
made a virtual world called Second

Life, which was the most complex and eye
opening environment I ever worked in.

And then, I worked for LinkedIn
after that, so social networking.

I worked for an Omnicom company
doing consumer behavior.

So again, all in that sort of space.

and then in 2014, so about 10 years
ago, I left that, um, tech had changed.

There weren't a lot of builders
left, and we can talk about the

difference between what I would
loosely define as builders and miners.

Um, but, uh, I have always had a love of
working with plants and co evolution of

plants and humans and plant chemistry.

I already owned a small winery
and so I just moved full time into

that and opened a gin distillery.

I spent the next several years doing
that and then I um, my father became

very ill with Parkinson's disease and I
essentially merged those two backgrounds.

So my love of chemistry and plants and
really kind of the neurological impact of

plants in our bodies um, combined with my
systems background and I started a small

biotech where we Um, use a very different
approach to engineer therapeutics

for neurodegenerative diseases like
Parkinson's, ALS, now there's a lot of

long COVID, um, and that's, I consider
at this point in my life, sort of the

culmination of, of all of my background.

That's all I got.

Iso: hmm That's all very cool.

No, I mean, I think it's I think
I've, I've, I've always been really

impressed by, yeah, kind of the
breadth of the things you've done.

And also, like, just especially,
like, especially jumping

into biotechnology like that.

just the, confidence it takes, right,
to jump into a field that you don't

necessarily have a lot of history in.

And just make something new
and think about it differently.

It's just, it's really,
yeah, it's really impressive.

Adam: Thank you.


I don't know if it's
confidence or stupidity.

I'm still not sure.

I think it's.

I think that there, there's this tendency
to believe that the problems of the

world are somebody else's problem.

And the realization I had when my father
got sick and I started to look at the

state of research around neurodegenerative
disease is that we had We had given the

problem to people who were very, very
smart, um, but they were thinking about

the problem in a very specific way, and
I don't know that it was working, right?

I mean, one thing I've learned in my
career is that if you take the same

approach to something for decades,
Um, it's probably has more to do

with the approach than anything else.

And so you need to shift it.

You need to get different heads on it.

You need to be thinking
about it in orthogonal ways.

You need to have different
ways to engineer solutions.

And so at that point, It's my problem.

It's not somebody else's problem.

It can't just generally
be a societal problem.

If there's a problem out there, I feel
like I have something to contribute to.

I'm going to make that contribution.

And, um, the real challenge with
that is dealing with the, the

egos who are involved with it.

and so the trick is winning people over
and helping them understand that you're

not, um, they, they are there to, to
add dimensions to the understanding

of the problem space, uh, to maybe
even re evaluate the problem itself,

um, but you're not really there to
challenge their credibility in any way.

So I think one asset that I have, um,
which isn't just this sort of blind

confidence, is that I'm a very good
listener, I'm very understanding of

where people are coming from, what
they need, and if you work with

people and you come from a good place,
they're very open to having new ideas.

Iso: yeah, I think that's a really good
way to think about it to enter into

a situation like that and really just
like focus on listening and not try to

like steamroll your way into it, um,
but I feel like a lot of people, and I

think I would include myself in this.

would be really nervous to enter
a situation like that, right?

To like, walk into a room full of
PhDs who've been working on a problem

for 30 years, have like a ton of
confidence in what they're doing, have,

uh, you know, books full of studies
on the direct approach that they've

been taking, like a lot of evidence.

That says that what they're doing is the
right thing, you know, of course There's

the evidence that it hasn't worked but
like as far as they're concerned like

it's just a process and it will work
at some point soon and enter into that

room and basically tell them that you
don't think they're right and That they

need to change the way they're doing
things or you want to try a new way

Yeah, like where does that
groundedness come from?

You know, it's a hard question, but
it's something that, like, I really,

it's something I think a lot about with
you specifically, is you just kind of

have like, this real groundedness where
you just kind of keep moving forward

on these things that I think would
be intimidating to a lot of people.

Adam: Well, early on in my career, the,
um, the consulting behavioral design

work that I did, I think that gave me
a really unique insight into how to

work with people, you know, with a lot
of prestige or, experience people that

were, you know, seriously outranked me,
I suppose, but had real problems, right?

So I would essentially be put in a
position at the age of, I don't know.

Um, in my mid to late 20s, I suppose, of,
um, you know, talking with CEO of large

multinational organizations about their
problems, um, and to do that, you just

develop a, um, you flex the muscle around
how to listen without bruising people's

egos, um, and you gain credibility that
you are, that you're on their side,

that it is, Basically, in this world,
everybody wants everybody else to be

successful, and you just have to subtly
remind them of that, that you're not a

challenge, you're there to help everybody
be successful, um, and the way, the way

to approach those things isn't a joke.

Um, to tell people the right way.

It's simply to share experience as
to what you've seen work in the past.


So, um, if I walk into a group of
people who are, you know, long time

neuroscientists, PhD, all of that.

Um, I can't tell them what will work,
but what I can tell them is in, in, in

my experience, you know, working with
people with the disease, working in

software, working in all these different
environments, whatever it might be,

whatever experience I'm, I'm pulling
from that it's worth considering.

And so I just present what, what I've
seen and whatever data I have, and

I'm not really making any assertion
whatsoever about it, except that

it's worthy of further exploration.

I think the mistake that you
make, particularly with, you know,

bioscientists is that you assert
things that you can't prove.

And I don't do that.

I assert things that I've observed.

And I've always done that
when I was consulting for big

companies and governments, I
didn't assert what would work.

I just told them what I had seen
work at other organizations and

in similar types of problems.

And, And then you let them own it, right?

Iso: hmm.

Yeah, it seems like walking into
a situation like that without too

much ego is a bit of the secret.


I mean, it feel, yeah, cause like,
you know, you walk into, I can, I can

imagine for myself walking into that
kind of situation and really wanting

to prove that I deserve to be there.

You know, and it seems like the way that
you would try to prove you, you deserve

to be there is try to be very confident.

Um, try to show them you really knew
what you were talking about and that

what you were talking about was correct.

Um, But, It's not the right way, you know?

I mean, and, and, and I've
realized that definitely, like

through, some personal evolution.

Um, but I still do it and I think
a lot of people do it when I'm in a

situation that I feel maybe that I
shouldn't be there or feel uncomfortable.

Um, and like how do you, yeah, how
do you put that aside, you know?

Adam: Yeah.

No, you're totally right.

It isn't, uh, what you
described isn't the right way.

In fact, I usually walk into a room and
I've seen people do that, um, where they

feel like they need to, um, they imagine
that there's enough that they could learn.

And, uh, let people see that
they know where they're going

to gain that credibility.

But it, it doesn't work like that.

So the appropriate thing is to show,
is to use humility entirely, right?

Which is just make it
clear that I make it clear.

I have, I have no idea.

On most of these things, but
the area, but here's what I see.

And here's the areas
where I do have ideas.

Um, and so I definitely use
a lot of deference when I

approach those situations.

Um, and the other side is I wouldn't
go into that situation without.

without a cause on my side, so I think
part of it is just knowing what what I'm

doing is is true and honest and I have
this group of people who are suffering as

my really my only my only stakeholders.


Like I, I'm not doing it for money.

I'm not doing it for prestige.

I don't want to win a Nobel prize.

I'm trying to help sick people.

And in the same way, when I would
work with big corporations to

help them with their problems,
I was genuinely trying to help.

I wasn't trying to convince them
of anything or make a lot of

money or do anything like that.

So I think there is, I check my
intentions with those things.

Um, I don't, I don't need
them to think that I'm smart.

I need to get to a solution.

And I, in my experience doing Very
innovative projects across all

sorts of different industries.

Um, there's one essential
ingredient, and that's diversity

of thought, which generally stems
from diversity of background.

So, um, whether you're, um, building
software, doing organizational consulting,

or working in biotech, the recipe for
for getting stuck is to take 200 people

with the exact same background and
the exact same PhD and put them in a

room trying to come up with solutions.

They will come up with precisely zero
solutions at any given time, and the only

way to break that is to bring people with
different backgrounds, And so I think

even the, even the diehards get that.

a little bit somewhere on their heads.

And I do have a certain kind
of proof because, um, in that

particular case, I work closely with
people with these diseases and I,

that's its own sort of evidence.

so is, is there improvement?

Iso: Hmm, yeah, it's a
good way to look at it.

I think the.

So, intention, and the intentionality
is so important, right?

Like you see, you know, not to compare
you to someone who's very religious,

but like you see in religious people,
and it's something that I'm honestly

really jealous of, like, just a really
like deep peace, they're 100% sure

that what they're doing is right.

and you can almost see it on the face of
someone who's very religious that they

just are totally calm in the fact that
what they're saying is the truth and

that what they're trying to do is the
right thing to do, um, because they have

this background of like, their intention
really is to be helping people, um, and

it feels like in your situation, um,
that there is that same kind of just like

pure intention and maybe that that's the
thing that makes you feel calm, right?

You're just coming into a situation,
you're not trying to, you're not

trying to sell anything to people.

Because I think, I think for me,
whenever I'm in a situation that, I

get really uncomfortable like that.

It's because I feel like I'm trying
to convince someone of something.

I'm trying to sell them on some idea that
I kind of believe, like, if I'm trying to

like, fundraise for example, which just
stresses me out more than anything else.

Like, I'm trying to convince them
that they should invest in this

idea that I do believe in, but
I'm not a hundred percent sure.

It just, I feel like I don't have
that kind of like rock solid clarity.

Whereas when I'm doing a Kickstarter,
for example, I feel really good

about it because I'm like talking to
people that I think actually I'm, I'm

introducing something to people that I
think is actually really good for them.

So when I feel like I'm really
introducing something to someone that's

positive, I'm not uncomfortable at all.

Um, and so maybe that is like
just checking your intentions

and being really clear about.

Why you're doing something before
you're doing it is the way to kind

of overcome that anxiety, yeah?

Adam: I think it is.

Yeah, I feel the same way about, feel that
way about all sorts of things that can,

that would otherwise be uncomfortable,
um, like it gives me comfort, but I think

maybe more importantly, it gives them
comfort to know that I'm not, that I'm

not driven by commercial ends, right?

I think for all of us, it's, it's kind
of, and I've kind of, I've experienced

this a lot throughout my whole career.

It's kind of hard to believe, but
there are actually people, and I'm

one of them, where I just really
like to collaborate and participate.

Even if I get a little screwed.


Like, like, I just, I am not, I'm
probably not focused enough on money.

Um, but people can see that in me, right?

And they believe that I'm coming from a
good place and that I'm not there to...

Again, I think if you approach
biotech like you're not trying to...

Rob everybody or, um, win a Nobel Prize
without having really deserved it, then

I think people generally will accept you.

But if we were to talk for a moment about
um, intent, I feel the same way about You

know, public speaking and um, you know,
essentially any The trick is to always

be doing things for the right reason and
then a lot of other things disappear,

Iso: yeah, I think that's really true.

and I think that Over the years, the
more I've tried to focus on doing

things for the sake of doing them,
like doing things because I'm really

interested in them or because I think
they're right, and less about how

people are going to receive them, the
more comfortable I've become, right?

And I think

Adam: that's, true.

Iso: you know, it's like if you were
walking into that room with all those

PhDs and your goal was to prove them
wrong and make a billion dollars.

You would be very uncomfortable because
you'd have a ton to prove, but you're

walking in there because this is a cause
that you really believe in, that you've

done some work and you think you can help,
and it's like, it's for personal reasons.

Um, and so you, you kind of, you
have that, that groundedness,

right, in that situation.

Adam: Yeah, I think so.

I think that you, you
do this some as well.

I'm an avid believer.

This is probably more
of a practical thing.

I I'm an avid believer
that, um, in reaching out to

people in the world, right?

So if if there is, um, I don't know,
it could be a Nobel Prize winner.

It could be.

You know, my neighbor, it could be some
venture capitalist I worked with 15

years ago, whatever it might be, I'm
constantly trying to put things out there.

I'm not much of a networker per se, but
I am a big believer that, um, what I do

is I like to wake up every day with the
possibility that I can be surprised.

And the only way you get surprised is
if you put some tentacles, some feelers

out into the world so that people
know what you're trying to work on.

Um, and some people will have interest
in that, and, and so what I've found in

a lifetime of doing this, of, I suppose
that's the root confidence, is just the

ability to, just the belief that we're all
people, and at that one to one level, if

I send a note to somebody, um, they, they
can respond in a different way without all

the organizational bullshit and everything
else that might surround it, and I've been

able to build relationships that way with
people, um, who, encourage the pursuit of

these things that other, you know, when my
thing is crazy, like going into biotech,

um, I reach out to, you know, heads of
neurology at large institutions, I reach

out to foundations, I, I share, share what
I'm doing and they come back with support

and that support builds, you know, it
keeps building and building and building.

And I think that we forget, um,
in that sort of, in that, what

am I selling to these people type
exchange that you, that you laid out?

We forget that.

We are sort of in this world of
abundance and again, people do kind of

want everybody else to be successful.

So, um, it's not me against the world.

We're kind of all in it together.

Iso: Yeah, I think that's a really,
I think that's a really good

thing to think about, you know,
and like a really good lesson.

And it came up actually in another
conversation I was having, um, yeah,

that just reaching out to people
is like the superpower, right?

Like most people just
feel like you can't do it.

Like if someone like is a little bit
famous or is like notable in some way,

they kind of imagine, oh, they won't.

They won't respond to me.

Oh, they're probably getting
reached out to all the time.

But the reality is most of these
people aren't getting reached

out to that often at all.

And are like so happy, like, I've
made a practice of writing to

authors of books I really like.

Adam: Uh huh,

Iso: Like I'll just like write them,
like, hey, I really love that book, like

this is what it taught me, just like
wanna let you know that I like your work.

And like, they always respond.

You know, because they're actually
not getting as many letters

as you imagine they would.


And, yeah, and to your point about
reaching out to people, kind of like

planting seeds to build that confidence,
I think that's something that's really

smart too, because, yeah, it's like,
you're entering into something that

you don't really know how to do it,
like this podcast, for example, is

something with me, like, I'm trying to
figure it out, don't really know how

to do it, I can do a lot of research,
right, but then what I've started to

do is actually reach out to people who
have podcasts that I really like, Bye.

And just like the fact that
I'm somehow connected with them

gives me more confidence that
this is something that I can do.


That I can like reach out to one of
them and ask them to, for feedback on

something or what they think of an episode
or just like a little note on something.

Um, it really changes, it changes the
feeling of you from kind of like an

outsider to this person who has this
community of people like in this field.

And I think it's amazing that you would
do something in biotech too, but it's

really, it seems like a lesson for
like any industry, whatever you want

to start, just like, start reaching out
to people, learning about it, right?

Adam: yeah, exactly, and um, yeah,
and it's something that other people

do for us, and then we do for other
people, and it's sort of a, sort of

a beautiful thing where we connect.

I think the, people talk about building
confidence, right, that's a phrase that's

used, and, I think for me, um, that is
one way that I build confidence, I think.

But I think that culturally we actually
tend to identify people as this, like,

confidence is this kind of innate quality.


Like you're born confident, that person
is confident, um, which I think that

there is that type of confidence.

I don't think it's as useful as the
type of confidence that you, that

you build in small ways, right?

Where you, you begin to get yourself
acclimated to an environment

you're going to find yourself in.

Um, where you, you get a sense for
the, the terminology, the, um, in

biotech in particular, it's All the
things that are known, but are never

spoken, because they're generally known.


So you can be really excited, for
instance, by a scientific paper that

you read, that nobody else is excited
by because it's just common knowledge.

And so that's kind of where you get
into mistakes is, is that actually

in that more casual side of things.

Um, but yeah, and I think that
there's, I know this about you too,

and you just touched on it briefly.

You gotta listen.

I mean, you gotta listen
to what people have to say.

And I think that I was, the early
part of my career, I think I was much

more defensive, you know, worried
about what people would think about

me, was, got kind of over prepared on
everything to a, to an unhealthy state.

Um, I was very, very concerned about that.

And then, Um, you know,
and I'm not alone in that.

I think most of us feel very
defensive a lot of the time.

It's hard not to.

When I worked for Linden Lab, it was
the first time in my life I had been

around people who, across the board,
everyone who worked for me, everyone

I worked for, they were all brilliant.

It was a group of people that was just
so hyper intelligent, hyper productive.

innovative, insightful.

I, I was, I had been sort of
afraid of that moment, right?

Of being the guy in the room
that, that kind of knew less.

And at that, but I had this moment
there where I realized that that

was the most liberating place to be.

I was for the first time in
my life surrounded with people

who could sincerely could build
any, any, any piece of software.

And in some cases, any
mechanism, any sort of physical

invention that I could dream up.


And so what I was bringing, um,
was a very particular background.

It helped me hone in on, you
know, exactly what, what I was

able to bring to that picture.

Um, and I was around these incredibly
productive, brilliant people who

were able to execute on that in a
way that I only could in my head.

And all the defensiveness at
that point sort of went away.

And I recognized for the first time,
I mean, you read about this, right?

You gotta hire people who are
smarter than you, whatever else.

I saw firsthand, very viscerally, the
value of surrounding yourself with people

who are much, much smarter than yourself.


Iso: yeah, I think that takes
a level of confidence, right?

I mean, like, cause your, your
story is similar to mine in that...

I used to be very defensive, you know,
like really just kind of a jerk about it

because I was so uncomfortable with kind
of my position and felt like I needed

to prove myself and, um, you know, like
I ran these big dinners but I wasn't

a chef, like I hadn't gone to culinary
school or anything so I had to show the

other people who had gone to culinary
school who were working for me that I

knew all the things that they knew When
I clearly didn't know all the things

that they knew and there was something
about what I was doing that was special

and different and something they didn't
know and I think over the years I've

Come to just be more comfortable that
there is something there is something

I do really well And I don't have to do
everything really well and again Yes, or

trying to surround yourself as much as
you can with people who are just a lot

better at their job than you are um Is,
yeah, again, like it's a, like you said,

it's like a very classic lesson, but
it's really true, and I think it takes,

it takes a moment to get there, right?

Like, you, like, like, I wonder
if you have to go through that

stage of, like, kind of being a
jerk to get to the point where...

You can just relax a little bit.

Like, it's so much nicer to
just be relaxed and, and, and

be collaborative with people
instead of competing against them.

Adam: Yeah, I think it
probably does take time.

I, I actually, I think
about that quite a bit.

I'm, I don't think there's
a shortcut to it, right?

I mean, I think one, one benefit of age
and experience for me is that I recognize

that I That I just don't know shit.


That like, there is,
there is so much unknown.

Um, I'm never gonna know it all.

I'm never gonna be able to
outperform in that kind of way.

I have to be incredibly good at
whatever I can contribute to things.

And I think we, we all feel that.

I actually worry about people who don't
identify with imposter syndrome of some

sort, whatever words you want to use.

Right, where I think we,
we all feel that way.

I do think it's an important
part of the human condition.

It's this kind of, it has
this assimilative quality.

Um, it has a humbling quality.

Um, and it does, it helps us
identify what we're actually good

at, what we're not imposters at.

Iso: yeah, and I think if you If you
don't ever feel that way, if you are

actually this like mystical, 100%
confident in every situation, always

doing everything correct, the way
that we kind of like all theoretically

are trying to get to this point.

Like how can you ever possibly
have empathy for another human

being who's not that way?

You know, like if you're that
like confident, quote unquote,

and you just are like brash and
kind of steamroll over everybody.

Like, you can't, you can't imagine
what it's like to not have all

the things you have, right?

And, and how can you, and also like, how
can you ever make anything that's useful?

Like, I think that, like, empathy is such
an important aspect of making anything

that anybody else really wants, right?

Like, all art is about, like,
communicating some, like,

universal human experience to other
people that's, like, often hard.

Or, like, solving some kind of problem
that people actually, like, creating

a product that people actually like
is about solving some problem that we

all have together and communicating
it to people in such a way that

They also feel like they want to be
part of this thing you're making.

Um, and so it does seem like this place
we're all theoretically trying to get

to, where like we're never anxious,
we're never nervous, we always have

the right answer, like, you know, we
sleep eight hours a night, we exercise

every day, just like this kind of like
perfection model that theoretically

people are trying to rise to.

Like actually wouldn't be a person that
you wanted to spend any time with anyway,

you know It's like like you like you
you like people because they show their

vulnerability to you and therefore you
can connect with them Right, um, you

know, it's something I see you doing a lot
actually, you know, and I think it's like

a really good way a really good connection

Adam: Yeah.

Thank you.

I, it, it will, it, it, you saying that
it strikes me that I think a lot of that

is in our heads and, and prevents us from
doing the work that needs to be done.

I mean, so that's the other way to
look at the confidence thing is, is

it, you know, do we have the confidence
to be in these rooms, um, or is.

Some part of us trying to, trying to
derail the good work that needs to be

done by convincing ourselves that we're
not, um, that we don't belong there.


So we can, we can stay out of those rooms
and stay out of those processes, whether

it's, you know, biotech or software or a
community center or whatever it might be,

um, because we don't feel like we fit.

Um, or we can say, listen, yeah, I
don't fit, but it's still urgent that

I show up and participate in whatever
way I can with this group of people.

And that includes my, my showing
up includes my lack of experience

and my, um, lack of confidence
around some of these things.

And it also, you know, it includes a
lot of other things, but we can't let it

derail us from the good work And that's
what, that's what drives me forward

is, you know, every day I can, I can,
you know, I can wake up and I can be

a mess or whatever else, but we got to
put one foot in front of the other and

we've got to make stuff happen, right?

So, um, I can't talk myself out
of participating in things just

because I don't feel qualified.

I have to at least try.

Um, and I think we spend a lot of
time, I have two, two sons, um,

one's 17 and one's 20 and I'm around
them and they're friends a lot.

And I remember doing this myself,
this idea that I'm going to, I'm

going to think about things, right?

Like I, like I'm going to pull back
and I'm going to think about what I

want to do with my life, for instance.

Um, you know, maybe I did at a
point, but I don't really have,

I don't have time for that.

And, and, and my experience,
that's not what works.

What works is you go out.

And you do some kind of thing, right?

You keep doing the work.

And again, that's another way of
putting things out into the world.

And being surprised every day is
that you're just participating in

some way, that you're not worried
about, how do I get qualified to

be in the room with these people?

What accreditation do I need?

How, what would I have to learn for
them to see me in a certain way?

The best thing to do is to just
reach out, get in the room, do

something, um, and get that feedback
directly to really get engaged.

Um, it's not a, you have to
act your way into a new way of

thinking, right, to use that phrase.

Iso: if you think about anything you
want to work on that's meaningful at

all and you think about it for too long,
all you can see are all the all the

ways that it's not going to work or like
all the things you don't know how to

do or all the resources you don't have.

But yeah, I mean like you're saying, like
if you just kind of like Put one foot in

front of the other just like break it down
to like little steps and like do a little

bit of it Each day like it really works
You know, I mean in like in my experience

Adam: It does, yeah, and
there are, there are.

You know, I don't want to make, um,
you know, I've had a lot of, I've had

a lot of opportunities handed to me in
all sorts of different ways in life.

And I know it's not, easy
for everybody to do that.

I've also in my life struggled with,
depression and other things like that.

It's not always easy to just,
get your shit together and get

out of bed and do the work.

I recognize that it's, it's
not quite that simple, but

that, but that's the objective.


Iso: Yeah, no, it's it's well said I
think it's a good lesson because The

world is totally overwhelming right now
for everybody in so many different ways.

And everything seems too
big and too intractable.

And it seems like someone else is
the expert that is gonna fix it.

And why aren't those experts doing it?

Like, is the feeling that most of us have.

But the reality is, like, we can
all contribute something to it.


Like we all have some skill that other
people don't have that if we just focused

it a little bit Like we're all capable
of creating a lot more than I think we

do and helping a lot more than than we do

Adam: I think that's true.

Yeah, but we get ourselves
into these traps.

I think the other trap
that I try to avoid is...

I try to remind myself that
imperfect people, very imperfect

people, do really great things.

You know, we have this historical
look at civilization and the people

who have done these amazing things.

And the problem with historical
looks is they tend to gloss over

a lot of things and create this
certain type of personality that then

becomes revered or even expected.

So it's easy to say, well,
I'm not like that person.

They were perfect in every way.

And the truth is, and this is,
you know, and I know you're a

great student of history, right?

When you go and you take a look
and you actually dig into the

biographies of all these great
people, they were not great people.

They were marginal people
like me and you who had the.

You know, the kind of audacity to do
good things in spite of that, right?

So I don't have to measure up as a person.

I just have to do the work.

Iso: Well, that was a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoyed the
episode and learned a lot.

I know I did.

I also just want to say a
personal note about my own kind

of journey on this podcast road.

So the first episode came
out a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks so much for people who
listened and people who left comments

and emailed me, you know, it means
a lot hearing back from people.

I've done a lot of projects . I've
started a lot of businesses and

done a lot of different events.

And each one of those has been
like me putting myself out there

and kind of putting my voice
out into the world in some ways.

But there's something about the
experience of putting out the podcast?

Honestly, that feels way more
scary than those things did.

Like there's something so vulnerable
about putting your voice out into the

world and having these conversations that
are really intimate in a lot of ways,

like I'm having this really intimate
one-on-one conversation with someone.

And then it just goes out into
the world to my whole email list

and all the folks who've, who've
checked out my stuff over the years.


So I just want to say, I really
appreciate people who are, who

are kind of reaching out about it.

You know, it's, it's meant a lot.

And, um, it's really exciting.

It's a kind of new challenge and it
feels like a big challenge to me.

So that's all to say.

Thanks so much for listening
and I'll talk to you next week.

How to make seaweed gin and cure parkinson's - Adam Nelson
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