A Visual Representation of the Spodek Method in Venn Diagrams

July 6, 2024 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature, Visualization

I can’t think of a message I received from environmentalists that suggested I would enjoy the experience of trying to live more sustainably. Every message from every source, including the most ardent environmentalists, told me living more sustainably meant giving something up. We had to worsen our lives to possibly help someone far away or in the future. A definite loss here and now for a possible gain sometime somewhere for someone else is a bad trade.

In Venn diagrams, I was taught that activities people enjoyed and improved their lives did not overlap with activities that improved the environment:

My experience avoiding packaged food for a week a decade ago surprised me. I expected a worse week since I had learned to expect that doing something sustainable meant it couldn’t improve my life or create joy. It revealed that acting sustainably could be intrinsically rewarding.

Moreover, as I experimented with more sustainable activities, I found more of them intrinsically rewarding too. In time, mainly through trying to lead people through similar experiences on the podcast, I developed the Spodek Method, which consistently led them.

One aspect of the Spodek Method is that it leads people to find an activity that both brings intrinsic reward and improves the environment. Many people struggle to find something in the overlap, I believe because they have been told so much and so exclusively that sustainability means deprivation and sacrifice.

Nonetheless, when well led, most people being led through the Spodek Method find something that does both.

When someone keeps at the Spodek Method, they find more activities that do both. The zone of overlap increases.

I’ve been doing the Spodek Method for years. I’m often led through it and I keep finding more activities that do both. As my activities activities lead me to think more of the people whom my polluting, depleting, and plundering would harm, I’m also finding activities that pollute, deplete, or require plunder feel increasingly repugnant.

No matter how much I would enjoy, say, flying to the Rocky Mountains to ski, that I would hurt innocent people (and wildlife) to do it makes it repugnant and I find I can achieve greater life reward without it.

In other words, my zone of overlap has increased and I find a new category of activities that I find repugnant:

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