—Systemic change begins with personal change—

417: Dan McPherson, part 2: Recovering from his heart attack, cutting out water bottles


Between asking about recovering from a heart attack in your 40s and about water bottles, where do you start? As it turns out, they're more closely related than you think. We started talking about recovering from the heart attack. Dan has faced his mortality several times before, so fear of death didn't hit him most. We talked more about changes to his lifestyle, particularly diet, which connected with sustainability. As a leadership community leader, Dan noticed and shared about his emotional experiences. Since we're friends who talk a lot, I think you'll find the conversation more friendly than most, so I think you'll hear more intimacy than with many podcast conversations. Dan seemed to reach a greater ratio of change to effort than many guests. He sounds like he's just starting, maybe because he's changing a lot of things in his life now, maybe because he's changed before. I love that he's made the term doof a part of his vocabulary and that it's taken root with his family. Man, it clarifies and simplifies choosing what to buy and put in our mouths. His experience to me reinforces how much we do on autopilot that hurts others and instead of facing we put out of our minds because it superficially makes us feel bad. We don't see the life improvement after the transition. Dan has experienced it.

379: Dan McPherson, part 1: A Heart Attack Last Week at Age 46


Do you have friends that you talk to once or twice a month---someone you can talk about important things beyond the day to day? Dan is one of those friends for me. The week before recording this conversation he told me he had a massive heart attack. He's 46 years old. I was traveling and could only hear part of the story. What I heard made me reflect all week. The pains, hospitals, and doctors were the exciting, if that's the right word, part. The parts about his son and his views on life got me in the gut. He's gone through life and death experiences before, so he could compare reflections and changes this time to others. The part about the changes he's made since, mostly about diet, made me think about my environmental changes. I asked him if he was willing to share his experience with an audience challenging themselves to change. He said yes. The first two-thirds is a gripping account of a young man facing possibly the end of his life. Then comes the parts where he faces the rest of his life and especially his son. I mentioned after stopping recording how I thought his humor would help people listen. He said, "How else can you treat it?" Since he had faced life-and-death experiences before, he adjusted to live how he wants. That if he knew his life would end soon he wouldn't change anything, tells me any of us can do so now. After recording he said he appreciated the chance to serve. I hope we learn his lesson without facing coin-toss chances of surviving.

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