Here is the interview I conducted at the @summit annual flagship event with Ray Dalio, the founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge funds, author of “Principles: Life and Work,” a New York Times #1 best-seller, and founder of OceanX. In the interview, Ray discusses the American dream, optimism, environmentalism, meditation, and what makes him human. Enjoy! (Link in bio) . #journalism #business #raydalio #principles #investment #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #writing #write #instawrite #technology #media #entertainment #talent #picoftheday #artistsofinstagram #la #change #interview #content #contentcreator #editorial #freelance #freelancer #meditation #environment #mindfulness #spirituality #yoga
A friend remarked to me, “your writing makes it evident that you’re devoted to service. What obligation do we have to serve?” . I responded, “everyone has an innate desire to work for common and collective good.” He scoffed and replied, “how so?” . How could it be that we have an innate desire to help others, when it seems that so many people are only out to help themselves? . We all operate under our own beliefs of what will bring us happiness. For some that belief is material/ monetary acquisition. Though, when we have our essential needs met and a sense of wellbeing/fulfillment, the desire to acquire external things diminishes. Instead, we can connect to our innate drive to help others - what gives true happiness. Put differently, depending on how well we have taken care of ourselves, is how able and willing we are to help others. Let me explain. . The drug addict, when seeking for their next high, will do anything - often harming another person - to get a hit. Yet, that same person, after years of sobriety, often becomes a substance abuse counselor. No longer held down by the weight of addiction, they now want to help others experience sobriety, clarity, and wellbeing. . Think of a time you were physically sick, or mentally unwell. Most likely, much of your energy was concentrated on yourself and what was wrong or how you could get better. How might this scale to a workforce where the majority often feels both unfulfilled and mentally drained? . Imagine the opposite. Maybe it was during a time you traveled, where you felt free from most of life’s stressors. You felt connected, joyful, and excited. Maybe, you even felt so moved by the problems you witnessed - environmental pollution, poverty, or the joy you experienced that seemed to be lacking for yourself and others back at home - that you felt you had to do something about it. . The ladder situation is the more “true” version of ourselves; it is us when we are alleviated from the things that usually rob our contentment. And when we inhabit this state, a state of satiation, contentment, and fulfillment, we realize that we don’t need to fill our cup more, rather we desire to help others fill theirs.
Here is the interview I conducted with Gary Vaynerchuk, author, investor and head of companies VaynerMedia and VaynerX, and Michael Ovitz, co-founder of the Creative Artists Agency and previously President of the Walt Disney Company. The interview took place at Summit's annual flagship event in LA, where I worked as an editorial producer/journalist for Summit. This is the first published product of many interviews. More interviews and an article about the interviews coming soon! Give this one a read, and let me know what you think! . Two responses from questions I posed that I find particularly intriguing: . Gary Vaynerchuk talked about what future CEOS may be saying, “The next CEO can walk into General Mills or Kraft or BMW and say, "Before we start this show, and you want me, I'm going to need the room to do good for the world that's going to make me less profitable, and I want to create that upfront." When you can have the leverage to do that upfront, then you can survive it.” . Michael Ovitz talked about how the ethos of company is changing, “The responsibility of a CEO to a public company, not private, was always to the shareholders. I don't believe that's the case anymore. I believe that it's to the shareholders and to the public they serve.” . https://summit.co/news/article/after-the-talk-with-gary-vaynerchuk-and-michael-ovitz-7c9xKMme2sMSe2YYM22iMi?fbclid=IwAR1Mu5Pej9N2g8T_-ip06TQLNJiB_i9tyK2XFLN6-txt1bcyQg0uYzykeus . . . . . #journalism #business #garyvee #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #writing #write #instawrite #technology #media #entertainment #talent #picoftheday #artistsofinstagram #la #change #interview #content #contentcreator #editorial #freelance #freelancer #mindfulness #spirituality #yoga #mindful
Picture shot on an #iphone. …. Some thoughts that arose from a long plane ride and listening to a Charles Eisenstein podcast. . Charles Eisenstein spoke of the problems with the environmental narrative that says, “protect the rainforest because if not something bad will happen to us.” This mindset of, “save nature because there is something important for our self-interest” is problematic. It’s what got us here in the first place - looking at nature through the lens of “what does it do for me?” What if instead, we saved nature because life has intrinsic value? Because the world is interconnected. Because the animals, the landscapes, the rivers are all tissues and organs of a living earth. When they die, something dies in all of us. . Further, the mindset of “carbon emissions is the enemy. If we just reduce this one number, all our problems will be solved,” is problematic. This isn’t a battle to reduce only carbon emissions, it’s not even a battle at all. It’s a calibration of our relationship to the more-than-human-world. It’s remedying soil degradation; it’s mitigating the loss of biodiversity; it’s enlivening an emancipated natural world. . This revolution includes, but is not limited to carbon emissions. It is a revolution in and for life. . Ps. I posted this caption before, though removed it as the timing was inappropriate.
Until I edited old writing for my new website, ScottHaber.Com, I was under the impression the old writing was of poor quality. Looking back, sure it was scattered and littered with grammatical errors. Though, it came from my time as a Bonderman Fellow (travel to non-western countries, w/ no responsibilities besides immersion in different ways of life.) During, I was seeing people who felt similar to myself, yet acted different from what I grew accustomed to. I developed a burning desire to share what I was seeing. There were no editors or deadlines, expectations or goals, need to monetize or impress. The writing came from a place of raw perspective and earnest desire to share. In many ways that is the best - and maybe the only true work - a writer can do. . Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2016. In it, I detail the different reactions I perceived Westerners&Cambodians had to uncomfortable bus rides. From there, I extrapolate on how those differences may scale to different reactions toward life. . “..when we constantly try to better ourselves, we become consumed with striving for more, and lose appreciation for where we currently are. We become engrained with the mentality of: if we don’t like something, we don’t have to accept our situation or change our mentality. Rather, we can seek for an external solution...Further, in modern societies, we live at the apex of technology: automated intelligent personal assistants, self-driving cars, even nannying robots. The advancement of technology is with the intention of making our lives easier, better, more convenient. While technology poses invaluable benefits, the truth is: life isn’t always convenient. Through its’ hardships, ups and downs, trials and tribulations, life can be anything but convenient. No matter the technology, we can’t always improve our situation. Yet, the more we lean on technology, the more we reduce our intrinsic capacity to deal with the totality of life. This, taken with a perspective of “there is always some external solution,” has reduced our ability to deal with life’s obstacles. As often, the answer isn’t to change our external environment, rather our internal one.”
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Einstein. . I want to discuss some consequences of a disconnection from nature. In nature, it is imperative, for all species, to sense their environment. A prey becomes aware of a predator through detecting subtle external changes. Humans aren’t excluded from this existence. Hunters - which compromised the majority of our history - needed to be hyper aware of their environment to survive and provide. This awareness doesn’t occur through analyzation, rather through sensation. The variance of sound, smells, and visuals is what alerts the hunter to the subtle, yet critical, changes in their environment. . Nearly all we do in modern life, whether in our academic, professional, or social circles, is intellectualized. We are so used to constant intellectualization, that we have forgotten there are different ways to interact with the world. We say, “wake up and smell the roses,” as if the smell won’t effortlessly enter our nasal passage. . If we live in only intellectualization, our minds become conditioned to overthink. Almost all people who I’ve seen start meditation in the US (including myself) believe they think too much. Surprise, we all overthink! Overthinking presents problems when we accept narratives of the mind - not as a fleeting thoughts - rather as truths to identify with. Alan Watts put it simply, “the mind is a good servant but a bad master.” . With the majority global population now living in cities, we are sinking deeper into a life of over stimulation, intellectualization, and disconnection. I have witnessed it across Asia, S.America and N.America. Cities, while offering economic opportunity, create unwellness. A few examples. Circadian rhythms become disentrained by artificially lit environments, worsening the quality of sleep. The noise of automation creates perpetual background noise, rendering us uncomfortable in silence. We constantly interact with others, never giving our minds the necessary respite. SHORT & IMPORTANT PART 2 IN COMMENTS
Went with my best friend to my first American sporting event in 3.5 years. Love you, dad. #family
I can’t recall ever looking at a sunset and saying, “yeah that’s a great sunset and all, but it could use a little more orange.” . When we stop trying to achieve perfection, we may just realize we already are.
After Summit concluded, there were a million things happening at once and several new opportunities presented to me. In typical Scott fashion, my reaction was to seek out the singular person who could see the situation clearly and present me with the path forward. Of course, I didn’t find that person - they don’t exist. . When it comes to our path, it helps to take in other perspectives to better inform our own. Though, no one knows our life better than we do. Most of the time, the only person who has the answers is ourselves. . I think that if we took more time in non-judgmental introspection - becoming clear on our intentions, desires, and needs - we would find that we already have all the answers we are looking for. . Shot on #iphone
Regarding #wildfires . Critics will say “gross mismanagement” by the forest service. I’d say when you tear up the natural world, sucking it dry of its’ water, resources, and life - widely and deeply for thousands of years - you turn an innately anti-fragile system into a fragile system.
At the gate to leave, I’m reflecting on my first moments in Hawaii. . When I arrived, I was both awe struck by the landscapes and jaded by the built world. Mile long coast lines encroached upon by mansions, mountains over looming 8 lane highways, exotic trees next to drug store chains. . My mind quickly reverberated to the mental narratives of: “What in the world hasn’t been developed?” “Are there any places left untouched?” . The more I explored the local ecosystems, the more I found the wild and rugged spaces. Overgrown vegetation, precipitous mountains, jungles teeming with life, fruiting trees and plants on nearly every hike. It’s a special place to have both the amenities/infrastructure of the States and also the biodiversity/vast nature of an unexplored ecosystem. . I know one day I will be spending much more time here.
I’ve always thought that I was that person with many groups of friends, yet who lacked that “one group.” There were home friends, biomedical engineering friends, entrepreneur friends, spiritual friends, writer friends, etc. And with travel, those circles and interests have only expanded, both categorically and geographically. . I’m coming to realize while I may never have that group that fully gets me and shares all my interests, and reciprocally I may never fully get them, that’s perfectly okay. To feel connection to anyone is a miraculous gift in itself. There is no wealth like being rich in connections. . And when you come across a group of people, who make you feel at home, and also embody their own individuality, whether interests and perspectives are shared well that ceases to matter. It’s been a hell of week with this group (not pictured most of the group) . LA for @summit tomorrow!
Each creative path is unprecedented. As to create something new - whether business, art or music - implies that no one has done it before. There are no road signs or rules to guide your journey. No one can help you more than you can help yourself, as they never have created what you endeavor to bring into the world. That means to navigate each new fork in the road depends on you and only you; you must create your own definitions of success, fulfillment, and completeness. . It may be tough, as in the process you will sacrifice security and stability, but in return you’ll receive one of the greatest gifts of all: the ability to operate within your own agency and creativity. . Ps. The synagogue news hit me. No matter where I may be in the world, this feels way too close to home. There are no words to dampen the pain of these actions, but the future can be different. We need more love. Love for others starts with love for ourselves. And a major part of self-love, is embarking on a path that we actually care for.
There’s something triumphant in the fact that a wave might have traveled halfway across the world before crashing onto this beach...
Without being in one place for a prolonged period of time over the past few years, I struggle to attach the label “home” to a specific location. Instead, I’ve come to see home as a feeling, a feeling of complete comfort and ease, where I’m able to be myself regardless of situation. Though, with a daily immersion in the natural world I’ve realized that home does exist for me - and beyond just a feeling - it’s in the forests.
Transparency Thursday is back. Today’s topic is insincerity. It’s what bothers me the most and has been pervasive in my life, whether manifesting in career opportunities or interpersonal relationships. Each time I feel that I am the recipient of insincerity, I have to stop myself from reacting out of agitation. . I remember the first time that I was called out for being insincere. A yoga teacher, who I was studying with, told me that my words and actions were a reflection of my character. That part of practice was learning to align my actions with my words, and that I should “alchemize my word.” After her lesson, I set out to be as earnest as I could with others. (Still a learning process.) . Of late, I feel as if I have been on the receiving end of insincerity all too often. Though, rather than getting bothered, I have tried to reframe the narrative. Instead of asking “why is this happening to me?” I will ask, “what does this experience have to teach me?” This isn’t pacifist, as in the process I’ve come to realize that I value my time too much to interact with people who make me hound them for their attention. As a result, I’ve started to ‘cleanse’ my circle, cutting people from my life who don’t belong. Though, not by ignoring them, rather informing them on the ways I have felt mistreated. . That brings me to my last point. This whole ghosting culture is not okay. Just because other people do it, doesn’t make it right. If someone takes the time to message you, you should message them back. Even if it’s to only copy and paste a line of: “Thank you for your message, unfortunately I’m not able to respond in depth at this time.” And if you say you’re going to text someone, call them, or make plans, do it. Though, not from a compulsion to be polite. As in the process of trying to be polite and masking your true feelings or intentions, you become less polite. . 📸@redcamera . Ps. I want to clarify on the last paragraph. I am not endorsing that we reply to every digital message. If you know me, you know I advocate for less time on screens and more in nature. Though, through discernment you can tell if someone has invested time to organize their thoughts.
My teacher used to ask, “imagine passing by a friend everyday and never saying hello. What kind of relationship do you think you would have with that person?” When we walk by someone that we know, yet repeatedly decide to not acknowledge their presence, we must mentally reduce their value, as to justify our lack of recognition. We call this process dehumanization. . My teacher would then extend this relationship to how we interact with the natural world. Everyday we walk by trees, birds, and many other life forms, yet rarely are we aware of their presence. Instead, they serve as a backdrop to our busy lives. . What type of relationship does this create? Has it enabled the human- centric mindset, which looks at nature only in the context of “what does it do for me?” Does it enable for us to repeatedly abstract (and reduce) the value of nature, in the name of extraction and commodification? Interestingly enough, instead of calling this process objectification, we call it progress. …. As the brilliant Charles Eisenstein put it, “ The dehumanization of other people -- whether on the basis of race, gender, or political opinion -- goes hand in hand with the objectification of nature. When we see someone as less than human, and treat them with contempt, demean their motivations, and hold ourselves superior, we set the template for the same treatment of the rest of life and the planet. All the crises are the same crisis. All the healing is the same healing.”
The food we eat begins as a tiny seed. We place the seed into the ground and allow the elements - water falling from the sky and a ball of fire that emits photons - to nurture it, until it is large enough to nurture us. Miracles, they are all around us.
We can't continue to rationalize economic progress at the expense of ecological health. Plain and simple, there is no such thing as economy without ecology.
Often, scientific people are turned away from mindfulness practices and other domains that we label as “spiritual.” The connotations projected onto spirituality, make mindfulness seem opposed to scientific inquiry. These narratives are only heightened by the platitudes, which say “we need science to blend with spirituality.” . A mindful inquiry is a scientific inquiry; spirituality is scientific. How so? . At the heart of scientific exploration is an earnest inquiry to objectively understand the nature of reality. To do so, a well trained scientist must remove their emotions, biases, and predilections from their experimental setup. They must be able to see what is, instead of what they believe to be what is. Further, a scientist must reserve judgements, as in the lab there are no good or bad results, nor right or wrong; there are simply outcomes. . Mindfulness is a practice to more objectively see the world and ourselves. It’s about being fully with what is happening right now - both internally and externally - without running away or imposing judgements. A mindfulness practitioner learns to accept, yet not hold onto their emotions as they may distort one’s perspective. They learn to place space between what is occurring in external reality and what their thoughts, emotions, and feelings are telling them. In this way, to practice mindfulness is to learn the disposition of a scientist. . Ps. In this post, I am implying that mindfulness is part of the wider umbrella of spirituality. Pss. Transparency Thursday will be back next week!