—Systemic change begins with personal change—

602: Ash Beckham, part 2: How to Out-Boulder the Boulder, Colorado Crowd


Listen to the difference between Ash's tone, her level of engagement, and her type of engagement between what she talks about in the first few minutes and about fifteen minutes later. In both cases she shows a high magnitude of emotion. At the beginning she's outraged at stuff outside her life. Later she's passionate about things in her life. Nearly everyone trying to motivate on the environment focuses on problems elsewhere, trying desperately to convince, cajole, or coerce people to act because they have to or disasters will happen. That extrinsic motivation comes off as bludgeoning, all the more because it always comes from someone who isn't living sustainably. If you want to motivate someone, connect with intrinsic motivation. What do you care about? What do they care about? I recommend interrupting the pattern in you of getting into cycles of outrage, blame, helplessness, hopelessness, and so on leading to pointing fingers and inaction or pointless action. I recommend interrupting it in others too, though more tactfully. Instead, recall what you care about and do everything you can for it. Take responsibility for what you love, the opposite of blaming others. If you've bought into the lie that personal change conflicts with systemic change, drop the lie. Don't spread it. Systemic change begins with personal change. Listen to what engages Ash, what she cares about, and compare with abstract things, however big and bad. What can you connect with?

590: Ash Beckham, part 1: Being vulnerable, supporting others, growing yourself


We started from Ash's TEDx talks, which cover vulnerability, intimacy, and support. You can listen to our conversation on its own, but it won't hurt to watch them first. She could easily say, "As a lesbian, I have it so difficult," but she speaks more universally. Everyone has something difficult to share, hides parts of their identity, has been made fun of, has felt judged, shamed, or the like. She shares about opening up. She takes no high ground, nor victimhood. She reflects and shares insight mixed with plenty of humor and humility. I hide my share of things and welcomed her role modeling to open up more. I suspect you'll want to too.

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