64: Sam Harris - Mastery and Mindsets - Mid 2019 Update
Sam Harris breaks down some key lessons on Mastery and Mindsets as a mid-year update for 2019.
After a lot of requests to tell listeners what I'm up to I gave in and sat down and talked about myself by using the medium of giving life advice. So I guess this is an episode of Sam coaching Sam and explaining the principles he's using to improve and deal with problems. He also shows you cool opportunities that are available to you to make live more awesome. This is the first episode in a mini-series of advice from Sam that will cover major tips and tools to upgrade how you think.
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Hello. Hello and welcome to the 2019 update with Sam Harris. That's me. So today I am going to be doing a podcast by myself, and I don't really like talking about myself, but this is really more of a podcast about lessons. And life and how to deal with things and you may have noticed that I really like breaking down people's problems and going into their life story and seeing how they deal with things and like all the lessons we can learn from that and I've had a lot of requests asking me more about what I'm up to so don't lots of really cool stuff over the last few years whilst running this podcast and I haven't really spoken about it and I just don't really like speaking about myself that much. And idea of running a podcast running idea of doing a podcast episode just to myself seems a little bit Ott, but.
Under the format of actually, this is the podcast episode about you and how you can improve your lives through my stories. Suddenly. I've switched it and it's like actually yeah, I can do that. That's fine. It's not too self-indulgent. So this is the podcast about how you can improve your life through the medium of me talking about my life.
So hopefully that that works out for you and sort of. Sounds a bit better because yeah, I don't like people that talk about themselves thus thus I didn't really do it that much.
Background on Sam [00:01:28]
so I guess it's good to start with a bit of a background on me in case you haven't been listening to the podcast or the fact that I haven't really spoken about myself that much on the podcast anyway, well. Over the last few years. I have been traveling the world. I've been well, I went to Asia to start a business and that exploded and went badly and because I don't like taking long full because I don't like taking long haul flights and I was already over there I decided I may as well make the most of being there.
I didn't have a reason to come home. So I traveled around Asia. I went to North Korea injured doing like. Meditation Retreats I went to Thailand for like kickboxing Retreats. I went to Australia to live with my sister for a bit because I hadn't seen her in a while and then I went to Tasmania for a month to live with hippies in the woods.
And at the same time. I was running a development agency which allowed me to work remotely and get other people to build tech for people that needed Tech and I guess somehow is making money at the same time as running around having a nice life and starting a podcast. So that was all. Pretty cool.
Then more recently. I moved to London and helped a friend build a startup in marketing which was a lot of lessons in marketing. But I guess the bigger metal lesson of the fact that I don't really like helping people just do marketing for no real reason asserted that would be like doing sales and more need to have a bigger purpose of what I'm doing and I can really wanted to work with my friend, but I just.
I guess wanted to be doing something aligned more with my own goals rather than just a business with a friend doing kind of cool Tech stuff. So I left that after six months and decided that this year. I was working only on my own things, which is a really cool thing to decide except for a spent six months mainly trying to work on my writing I guess which became quite difficult because I've never really done writing before and.
As a younger person at school. I basically failed everything when it came to English and things like writing was hugely difficult for me. And so I was like, yes the great challenge to take on out. I'll enjoy this. Okay good at it and screw all my teachers who said I'd never be able to do anything in this kind of area like I'm going to take it on and well, it didn't go brilliantly well for the last six months turns out it's not that I'm well, it's not that I'm bad at writing. It's just that I have too many ideas going on. I'm not very good at deciding or executing on it. And for one hour of writing. I'll have like 10 hours worth of ideas of more writing or maybe books of writing that I need to do and that's it gets a bit overwhelming and it's.
Very much. I guess I think I needed more of a natural coach to sit me down and be like, right you need to do exactly this and work on specific things, but I didn't do that and made a lot of mistakes, but I'll go into those later but that I think sets you up for where I'm kind of up to at the moment and then why I sort of then decided to go and take on a boot camp out here in Israel.
Why Move to Israel [00:04:43]
So I've moved to Israel halfway through 2019 because I've had a bit of a okay. I've reached this point. I'm not really doing things quite correctly and. Sneak white how I went to my ear to be going. How can I make us an awesome year and still hit like some of my other goals? So one of my goals was to build a difficult application all by myself that does good for the world and instead of making the mistakes that I've made with the writing.
I figured well, okay. Actually, I need more coaching on this. I'll do a proper boot camp. So I am. Doing a boot camp with Founders and coders program who run boot camps in London and Israel and they're a great organization to check out they are a not-for-profit and they don't charge fees up front.
They manage to do that by being a peer Learning System. So you are on the boot camp and you kind of help each other out as you're going along but then afterwards you have to come and teach for two weeks. Once you've done it, so the whole all of the people that are teaching on your core. So the people that did the course before and they're doing it for free.
So there's certainly a lot less money required for the entire thing and I kind of feel that it's actually a better system in general for learning because whilst you're there you're always working with other people and so it's just the way that knowledge gets around all the students. It's just. Kind of viral and the way hits like everyone teaches each other and they all kind of get that together.
Whereas other boot camps you kind of just try and work on your problems by yourself. And if you get really really stuck you try and ask the teacher but then like they're busy because they're trying to work with everyone else and instead of it's like one person dealing with many it's everyone dealing with each other.
And so yeah, it's a really cool system and its really really good and I'm a huge advocate of this. So anyway, I'm doing a Founders encourages course in Israel, which is actually a really cool thing to do.
Why Re-do a Bootcamp? [00:06:47]
But if you already knew about me, you might know that I did a coding bootcamp, too. Almost three years ago, and I actually had a job as a react front-end developer 3 months and then I actually ran the development agency where I more didn't do the coding and got other people to build things or potential client.
Well actual clients, so we've built some stuff in medicine and blockchain which. Fun travel the world doing fun things whilst making Tech happen. So why would I need to do a boot camp? Well, this comes out to do things
Deal with Depression - Find a Purpose [00:07:23]
one was actually I guess I was a bit depressed and lost and needed some kind of consistency in my life and to be doing something I had the last well I decided for 2019.
I wouldn't take any kind of normal job and be stuck somewhere. I think I for other people so I've been trying to focus a lot on my writing as I mentioned and that's been really interesting and I've learned a lot about myself and is quite overwhelming listening to my brain and going like oh God Sam shut up.
I just need to like write this one thing. Why can't I just do this one thing? Holy crap, I mental I love this has been a bit of a problem and focus has been very difficult. And they also it said of doing real job. I've been doing random things across the country and that's not really help with consistency meant that I haven't had a place to live and have been in different parts of Scotland and stuff and that's been quite helpful for my mental health and generally.
I've been you've been given and also I had a lot of issues and Anemia so I often have to go home. So even if I had a month off instead of going in like living violating Italy or doing something really cool. It's just go home to the countryside and be there waiting for test results and things and that was quite frustrating.
So yes, I've had some issues and it was a bit overwhelming trying to deal with my problems and. Not taking that I could jump a bit. So it's it's really useful when you do have things like this. Do you actually just have a job or be somewhere where you have a reason to get up every day and do something with people and have some kind of purpose and meaning so firstly is just solving my problems is like depression things.
It's just having a reason to be somewhere and do something is quite handy
Mastery by Breaking through Acceptable Proficiency [00:09:19]
on the subject of Mastery and coming really good at something I reached what I would call the level of acceptable proficiency encoding where I could code but I wasn't getting any better and I could just code react front ends.
And that's fine if I want a job doing that and I could just do more of that but I wasn't really developing all the rest of my skills and. I have no idea where I could kind of teach myself but then you know, I just be inserted the Press didn't to sitting around by myself just teaching myself things and only only like an hour or two a day.
Let's be realistic about teaching myself a program when I haven't got a reason to be doing anything or anyone telling me what to do, but being one of boot camp get up I have to do eight hours a day and a constantly learning new things and. It's really really useful for just getting instant feedback on what you do and don't know and developing yourself.
So I'm just learning so much more on this course and I would be by not doing it and that is super useful.
Learn to Teach and Teach to Learn [00:10:25]
And then secondly the other great thing about doing this out here in Israel. Is that no one else really speak English as their first language and the course is all about peer learning and teaching each other things and.
Ice someone is actually quite good at coding. Generally. I do need to teach the rest of them a lot of the things and so it's very hard trying to teach someone whose English isn't their first language and they don't have any experience in coding trying to teach them things that they don't understand.
It's. Immensely immensely difficult trying to put thoughts that were in my head and I kind of understand but as soon as slightly unstructured in the just like vague, right this is kind of how you solve this. I can't just say that to them and like leaving with it. I have to really organize my thoughts into they really nice logical clear pieces of information that like they can actually understand and grasp and so it's been really really useful.
Help my own abilities of explaining things and. tying these Concepts together into proper packages in my own mind to actually be able to explain to other people. So it's helping my own learning of the code of commissioned. I'm trying to take it as master and it's helping my abilities of explaining things better challenging.
How will I really understand things to deliver the beautifully to the rest of the world, which I think is going to be really useful for the podcast in terms. When I have thoughts that I want to share with you, I'll actually be able to explain myself more clearly and hopefully I'm mastering to skills at once by being on this program.
So yeah, that's really really interesting.
Always Choose the Crazy Option [00:12:17]
And then the fact that I've never really been to Israel before like I said, there's something I need to explain the course runs in London as well and being out here in Israel is just the. It is immensely more fascinating when life gives you the two options.
You should only go for the crazy one wherever possible in this gives you a bit of a life story to tell and have and just know a lot more about things in I've lived in London plenty of times and they need another three months of remembering London as much as having three months of what life is like out here in Israel is really interesting and it's funny being on the course of people who are like 20 to 25 and.
Is it really drink and I miss you virgins or they married and have kids in this type of what is nothing like the society I come from and yeah, it's really fascinating being out here with these people. They have no clue about climate change, which is a bit of a challenge every day to not scream at people when they like use plastic for things and it's like, okay.
I need to rethink how I think about this to be. If they have a society where they wear this and then the whole Arab Community is kind of depressed and how Palestine issue and things I don't really know about is quite fascinating to learn and the actual boot camp. I'm on is for helping Arabs and women getting to take out here, which is a very Jewish male dominated Society.
So yeah, it's quite fascinating to be around a bunch of cool ladies a little bit of a always white guy stick out a lot in any photos. Yeah. I'm sure you'll get to see some of those but it's been a lot of fun and it's definitely helping me overcome depression and learn about myself and life and code.
So yeah some cool principles there to solving your problems and had another thing
Solve problems by Switching Focus [00:14:21]
When you do focus on like your current problem, you could actually like that it kind of overcome you and it just becomes worse. So if you think about when you're driving in an exam and you may get stuck on like number two, you can be stuck with number 2 for the rest of the exam if you just sit there and like try and battle that question whereas you can just go on to question 3 question for and solve other problems and by the time we get to question a.
Be honest question table suddenly just arrived in your brain. And that's kind of what I'm doing with the writing issue of okay, or maybe trying to deal with this head-on and could be doing a much better job of it. If I wasn't dealing with it head-on and just going and doing other things and solving problems working with cool people is just stimulating lots more ideas of how to approach what I'm doing and suddenly I am actually getting up two hours early every day and writing consistently.
And having a deadline that I have to try and stick to an estimate makes up happening. And so my writing is getting better and more productive by going in not focusing on the writing as much so that's a really good life principle when you aren't doing what you want to do. So well, so well,
Be more present [00:15:36]
then another principle of actually had from being out here like just recently this one girl has just been really like.
Torn up about whether she should be on the course and like every day she spends so much time like in frustration wondering whether she should even be doing it and I didn't get this one thing shit. I shouldn't be here God this is awful. And then she got some guys are stupid. This is fine. It's a matter and then suspend more like worrying about something else and she's just in a lot of pain and frustration and she's constantly judging everything.
She's learning is the weather. It's useful and she should be here and it's a bit worrying for me. Every time I talk to her that I might like say something that makes her feel stupid and that she shouldn't be here and I can't relax around her and it's quite it's quite frustrating for me and for her and everyone and it is sort of Bonkers because she's putting so much energy and time into trying to decide if she should be here when she could just be here.
And enjoy herself and her energy and her time and brain power in to try to solve the problems if he isn't understanding or just being relaxed and being like happy about the fact that she's learning a lot of things and some things are going over her head. But by the end of it you'll be much better and she can like carry on with it afterwards.
And so we had a bit of a conversation about this and I was like, okay just. Just commit to being here for the another four weeks at least and just decide that you do the course. Then we have a week off you can like think about it from a better perspective. If you actually done half the course by that point and you can decide if it's worth in the rest of it, but you just don't need to worry about it for the next four weeks and actually just be here and put your energy into being like someone that solving their own problems rather than trying to solve this problem of whether you should be here or not because.
It's not helping anyone for yourself and it was just really amazing to see how much stress was just able to come off her shoulders and just for her to just chill out by thinking. Okay. I am just someone that's on the course. I'm not this person. That's like maybe here maybe not. It's just helped her so much and me and it definitely was just a life principle that I only kind of realized by helping someone else.
Because it's something that I asked to get wrong myself a lot, but being able to tell someone else who has this problem. I'm like oh shit. I should do this and what for them myself crap, so it's not like I'm a master of this but it's really helped me think about this better.
this might help you as well when you have a sort of thinking about whether or not you should be doing something and realize that this consuming all your time when you could just be doing the thing that you're doing and enjoy and get a lot more.
If you aren't getting so overwhelmed by whether or not you should be doing it because it's really unhealthy and causes a lot of anxiety and stress I think that's a really really big life tip. So, yeah try and just be present and not worry about things more often. Okay, cool that I think covers being out here and why I'm in Israel.
And dealing with my problems and mastering stuff. So to life principles now on to the podcast.
Whats going on with the podcast? [00:19:01]
What am I doing with the podcast? So it's been going really really well. I've been getting into the top 20 business things on iTunes for the past month. That's cool. I'm pretty happy about that. Yeah, I getting a lot more people trying to be on the podcast and getting a lot more guests to come on.
So it's going to be a lot of fun and I've been getting some really really cool deep conversations with people and in the ones that were coming up and spin yeah with dictionary fascinating stuff as head of mind-bending and changing my life and hopefully you will do the same for you. And one thing I want to do is try and make the podcast better for people.
Is a resource
Podcast Series on Topics [00:19:46]
in something that I find is a problem with podcast I listen to is that they are all very interesting but I would like to have a bit more like something binding them together better over like topics and things so I want to make my podcast be in series where I'll interview guests in a similar field about certain things and how to approach that so like five episodes on.
How to start grow a business and then select or five episodes on coaching or five episodes with Olympians or something. There's just like a bit more of a thing that binds itself together is like a chunk of knowledge rather than just like one podcast that you can kind of listen to enjoy and then kind of forget because if you think about blog posts you might read plenty of blog posts in the day, but you'll forget most of them.
Where is if you read a book it's sort of like at least it's bound together and a book and you feel there's some consistency going on. You might share it with a friend and say hey, this is really useful and you can actually talk about it. Whereas small pieces of content. They kind of just go in and out your brain a bit more.
So I want to actually bind things together into something that is more memorable more useful and hopefully these things could almost be like audiobooks in terms of their usefulness for people. And yet still be free and available to everyone. So that's something I want to try and do
Talking Mastery [00:21:12]
I want to improve my own abilities at talking.
Also I have this problem where I talk too fast because I listen to podcasts on triple speed which is really fast and means I get to consume lots of information very quickly. That's fun, but it does give me a warped sense of how fast people speak because I get to listen to a hell of a lot more words a triple speed than I do any words at normal speed and slightly messes up my brain.
So I think I am speaking too fast myself and also with guests and if I could get them to slow down and myself it would be a lot easier for more people to understand because. Being out here in Israel and talking to people they understand English, but it's not perfect. So I have to speak really slowly and clearly and every word has to be crystal clear and then it's okay.
And if I did that on the podcast then more people in the world could actually listen to them and benefit like I know I could not share my podcast with the people out here that I'm with and they're really cool. And it would be great if they could listen to these podcasts. if I can actually make them slower I could share them with a lot more people and that would be really nice but it's probably going to be hard.
So I am yeah committing to forcing myself to get better at it and hopefully that's one thing from being out here in talking to these people every day in the slow Crystal Clear manner will. Make me get better at doing
Awesome Guests [00:23:50]
I am. trying to get cool awesome insane guests as much as possible and you help me with this by giving me good ratings.
That would be really really nice and helpful. If you do feel like you are enjoying the podcast or this episode or any of the things that I'm trying to do. That would help a lot because having a bit of a nice profile on the podcast really improves the ability to get big insane guests. I mean, I already have a few and it's going to be a really good season and the forecast is getting better and better but it will just get better faster if it more of you leave reviews, so that would be really nice it always makes my day every time someone sees me.
I also get in touch with me at any point in time. That's it's always really nice had quite a few people now asking for help with things or sending me a message and I always love to talk to you about things. So thanks everyone so far. It's got him got in touch. And if you ever feel that the urge do you can just email me or Twitter to LinkedIn or anything?
They're all fine.
Email Newsletter [00:25:01]
subject of email. I do want to increase the amount of feedback that I am getting and so I thought I should sign email newsletter to try and just distill some of the cool things that I'm learning about each week and make myself deliver useful information to people and provide useful resources for you and at the same time.
That way you will have my email readily available in your inbox or in your contact list. And if you ever feel like you want to talk to me about anything you can just instantly send me a message. So the feedback loop will be much faster instant because I really want to improve the podcast as much as possible.
So I will start an email newsletter and you can sign up on the website or I'll try and put a link in this description.
So that'll be really nice. If you want to hear some cool things and learn about the world and then lastly also my patreon.
I haven't really focused on it. I just haven't known what's been the best useful thing for you to get from me and it seems wrong to lock away content that I'm creating just two people that can like afford to pay so I don't really want to do that and give like extra stuff, but I do want to be useful on my Patron at the same time.
So it's confusing Dynamic really? So I was thinking I would just try and ask you guys what you want me to do on a patreon and what you might live pay for or not. So yeah, maybe I've had people are kind of asked for coaching and things and I'm happy to be like monkey sessions on everyone get involved and perhaps.
The first time you sign up all them give you a session we can set some goals but the year and things and that could be fun happy to talk to anyone that signs up on the patron. So yeah, if you're interested in some coaching or I don't know what else I could do. But if anything I'm open to ideas then yeah get on to the patron and we'll try and work something out and that would be fun.
Okay, cool. And on that note, I think I've covered everything
Founders and Coders - Coding Bootcamp Details [00:31:38]
just. Bit more info, I think on the coding bootcamp stuff.
If you feel like you want to learn to code I would say it's a great decision in life helps you think about lots of other things really well and is a useful skill regardless of what you're doing and coding boot camps in London and Israel are completely free.
So. That's really nice. If you do the one in London, they do want you to try and take a job through them afterwards. So you need to be able to work in the UK. That way they can carry on sustaining themselves because they take a recruitment free recruitment fee. Sorry. If you do the one in Israel, it's completely free.
But there is only three international students a , of course, . So yeah, they're both quite hard to get onto. But they are amazing and possibly the best courses you could do and regardless it's worth trying to get onto them anyway, because you have to do prerequisites and you have to learn some of the basics of coding yourself before you can get on
Learn the basics of things Upfront [00:33:00]
and these are the essentially the best things you can do before you do any boot camp is to learn the fundamentals because that way when you do start the boot camp, you just have all the basics down.
And you have like this Foundation of knowledge to grow from whereas if you don't learn the basics before you start a boot camp, you'll just spend like months and frustration and not being able to learn things and and all this stuff will go over your head and your waste your time and your money and there's a lot of boot camps that sell like Zero to Hero things and it's just bull.
I come the original boot camp that I did was like Zero to Hero and of the 11 of us that started two of us finished and that's because we learnt some code before and if you take a boot camp without knowing stuff beforehand, you're just going to fail. So even if you're going to go do a different boot camp, I would suggest forcing yourself to look through the prerequisites of these ones and do them anyway, because.
It's going to set you up for success in the rest of it. And that's just a good principal. And any kind of thing that you're learning is to actually have a bit of a foundation for you try and take more stuff and on that note. Yeah, that's the end of the podcast get in touch. If you want any advice on any of these things or getting involved with the boot camps, and I shall be doing some more series in the future.
Coming Up [00:34:25]
We will currently be having a series from Sam me where I went to do some more cool. Awesome life tips. I did a really good. I really popular episode on the bees like that. The 2018 last year that wasn't on any life hapless. So this year I'm going to do the same the 2090. I have some really big life-changing hack servants help me.
That I went to explain and I have no idea why they're not only lifehack this because it's really awesome in the world, you know about it so you can hear about that next week. So cool thing that's ever think and have an awesome week enjoy whatever else you're up to and stay tuned or miss out.