Nir and my second conversation covered how I inspired him and how he inspired me. If I'm not too presumptuous to say I inspired him, the first part is about his choosing to avoid flying. Several months into the pandemic, we're all used to not flying, but when he committed, before the pandemic, most people I talked to called not flying impossible. By contrast, Nir emailed me about 24 hours after our first conversation to say he had already substituted one flight with speaking remotely. In our conversation, he shares about how he made it happen. Then we get into a back and forth about technology. We agreed on some and disagreed on other parts. Then I switched to what he inspired me on: barefoot running. When most people say barefoot running, they mean minimal shoe. Nir was the first person I met who ran without shoes. Finally I had a role model who ran in Manhattan without shoes. I had been sharing with him since our last conversation about my practicing. Finally I could share with him. He shared how he got started, what motivated him. On the other hand, our technology conversation may have sounded annoying. What do you do when you disagree on something? Not talk about it? Avoiding the conflict doesn't resolve it, which is fine on issues that don't matter, but air, land, and water matter. We can not talk about it and just let the ballot box decide. As far as the environment goes, we saw how that worked out in 2016. I hope to run with him when he gets back so New York can see two old men running barefoot together, laughing.
I met Nir Eyal at a podcast recording of Will Bachman, who long ago hosted me on his podcast (see links below). Nir recently publish a book, Indistractable, about how to keep focused. A lot of people ask me how I do so much. I don't feel I do, but if so, maybe I qualify as someone who achieves. Indistractable gave me tools to focus and achieve more with less distraction. In fact, I'm writing now and recorded then despite feeling like I wanted to surf the net but used a technique from the book to focus. I wanted to hear how his research and techniques on personal action would connect to environmental action, which we started to talk about (I liked to Will's episode so you can hear Nir at length about the book). Nir showed one of this podcast's more dramatic transitions from skeptical, abstract environmental discussion to enthusiastic action. I appreciate his openness to reconsider since I read him as starting with set environmental views, but let himself look at it from a new perspective, including acting. I read his thank you at the end as sincere and, I suspect, the start of something new. As a spoiler alert, he emailed me less than 24 hours after we recorded that he acted on his commitment. Listen to hear his commitment beyond most people's.