267: Seth Shelden, part 2: Inside the United Nations

December 27, 2019 by Joshua
in Podcast

Before we spoke, Seth implied he didn’t do as much on his challenge as I expected so I expected a short conversation.

I think it’s important for listeners to hear that even people who win Nobel Prizes taking on global thermonuclear war have a hard time taking on new habits, even ones they want, like reducing their waste.

I’m not claiming changing habits with environmental consequences are easy, though I believe nearly everyone will find doing so, when acting on internal values, rewarding. I think they’ll be glad they did. But few will find starting trivial.

So if you’ve identified a value you haven’t acted on but want to—environmental or otherwise—I hope you forgive yourself if starting is hard. Or if keeping it up is hard. You’re still in league with greats. Experience tells me you’ll prefer trying to not trying, however hard it seems. Same with trying again if it doesn’t stick. Sometimes you have to try the same thing again, others to learn, revise, and try in a new way.

Seth and I ended up having a wonderful conversation about different ways of motivating people, so it was rich and full. I hope you’ll enjoy this inside view of how people working on global problems and local, grassroots efforts do things.

I thanked him in the recording, but I’ll call out what I consider leadership—to allow himself to sound vulnerable to others, to share what others might call weakness or failure. He also preferred accountability, which effective leaders like. Accountability gets the job done.

On a personal note, last time I cooked him my famous no-packaging vegetable stew, this time I shared some mulberries I foraged, which were more delicious. I don’t think I can beat nature’s raw ingredients.

On a technical note, it turns out that his microphone was rubbing against something, but I didn’t realize until after recording. I hope the microphone sound doesn’t distract too much.

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