—Systemic change begins with personal change—

412: George Chmiel, part 2: Teamwork from garbage


"You heard it here first." We start by reviewing George's experience picking up garbage with a team he organized. We started creating a project. It spontaneously arose, but I see a chance that we'll make it happen. Maybe soon, maybe it will take time. Maybe it will go nationwide. Maybe it will fall apart. Maybe it will change culture. Maybe future generations will look back at these changes as what sparked the turning point. George's gym, Spartan, Litterati, SoulBuffalo, Generation 180, Living Lands and Waters, The Story of Stuff, . . . there are a lot of organizations that want to act who are part of this growing community. I want to contrast George's motivation from your typical gym's or most organizations'. Most gyms work you now for a later payoff. For George, the future benefit is nice, but it's a side effect. The effort itself is rewarding. We heard it with Joe DeSena and Spartan. You hear it from me with my sidchas. Listen to the conversation. If interested in participating or contributing, let me know, especially if you like organizing or you know sponsors.

390: George Chmiel 1.5: Sustainability, hard even for an ultramarathoner, but he doesn’t give up


George's challenge involved people congregating outside, which California banned, increasing his challenge. Personally for him, Badwater got canceled for 2020, the race that starts in Death Valley and ends up, over 100 miles later on a mountaintop. Widely regarded as the hardest race in the world, he was looking forward to it. Can you imagine the training, then you feel like what was it for? So life conspired to make acting on his environmental values for the podcast more difficult. He contacted me to ask about taking more time. I share with him how guests have struggled before. I'm not trying to suggest change is easy, but to accurately show listeners the challenges. George magnanimously agreed to share his vulnerabilities. So we scheduled this episode 1.5 to share the challenges he faced. Leadership isn't about doing easy things. It's about facing what others don't and overcoming it. I believe you'll hear from George that the rewards are more than worth it. What he shares about emotions, I believe will inspire you. He speaks with experience having felt disappointment, despair, futility, and more beyond what most of us do. I love this podcast for bringing people like George into my life. Actually, not the podcast. The podcast is just one manifestation of living by my values even when it's hard. He reminds me I haven't hit hard yet. Not flying? Avoiding packaged food? Picking up garbage? They're child's play compared to what he does.

361: George Chmiel, part 1: Why run 3,000 miles? Why challenge yourself?


George and I talked about three big topics George Floyd demonstrations and riots from the view of a man watching his businesses and his communities' businesses vandalized and destroyed. You'll also hear him reflect as a man who dismissed Colin Kaepernick---in his view disrespecting the flag. Why did he have that view? For supporting veterans, especially veteran suicide, through incredible runs---ultramarathons, 100-mile-plus runs, and longer. The more he ran for others, the more rewarding it became, to where he ran across the country through injury. We talked about finding your limits, serving others, and how much each helps your life. My key takeaway: that he got more out of his challenges than he put into them, for serving others. He explained better than I why I act on leadership and the environment, probably because he's done so much more Tell me if what he says doesn't make you feel that whatever you're doing, no matter how much people tell you it won't make a difference or is more than you have to, that you want to do more. A few years of not flying and avoiding eating unhealthy products that end up not tasting good anyway feel so small, partly because I can do so much more, but because I've barely scratched the surface of what I could get back. George said what I've tried to but haven't succeeded in doing---communicating how much serving others brings to your life, expanding it, filling it with joy, community, connection, and emotions at the pinnacle of what humans experience. I didn't want to say it to him, but knowing that he'll find more than he expects from acting on his environmental values, I bet he'll end up doing a lot more. While some might think it could detract from his supporting veterans, I predict it will augment it.

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