Transcript for "Connection - with Saurabh Mithal"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine my guest today is Saurabh Mithal. Welcome Saurabh how are you? Ah I’m I’m normally pretty darn excited. But I’m downright giddy because we keep having horrible problems with technology.

00:04.70
Saurabh
Welcome. Thank you Greg it’s a pleasure to be here and to talk to you.

00:17.12
podcomm
Um, this is our I don’t know a second attempt to actually schedule this thing and then um, the best 1 was the day the power went out on you from a little call all of a sudden it gets dark on the other side of my con I’m like well I guess that’s the end of that so we’ll see how far we get today. Ah before we started recording since we’ve had like 3 conversations now.

00:26.49
Saurabh
Yeah.

00:36.51
podcomm
We keep coming back to the idea of using Pod I’m going to say using podcasting to expand our network and I don’t mean like skeavy networking. You know here’s my business card but the idea of simply having conversations with other people.

00:49.22
Saurabh
The.

00:56.32
podcomm
Without having a particular goal in mind and I’m wondering is that something that you saw as a possibility for podcasting when you like really started thinking about podcasting or has your ah thinking about podcasting evolved to.

01:10.67
Saurabh
Um, ah I actually like I’ll share up it I I have a program called career design which came about in the Covid crisis because there was such gloomy atmosphere.

01:13.71
podcomm
Bring you to that idea.

01:21.50
podcomm
M.

01:30.13
Saurabh
In the initial months and I was wondering of what kind of careers would thrive in this situation because there was so much gloomy stuff nomies going down this is happening that is happening and a model that came to my mind when I was thinking was. That of an anti fragile career and how can we design an anti fragile career and there were different components to it like how can we consistently create so that we are creating value. How can we ship we can making shipping a habit. How can we consistently learn deliberately. And then there was this component of connecting with people because if you do the first 3 but you’re doing it all alone then it’s not a courier then it’s a hobby right? So when I thought of how do we grow our connections consistently.

02:15.77
podcomm
Um.

02:28.50
Saurabh
Podcasting for me seemed like a very is ah is ah is a much more enabling platform than asking someone for a cup of coffee like it it and and it allows you to go deep into conversations because.

02:39.90
podcomm
Um, pray.

02:47.25
Saurabh
It’s a more exploratory kind of a medium. So I really like podcasting as a potential ah toolkit in your career design in your career expansion and even if you talk about nonprofessional. Life just having a podcast about your hobbies can create a platform for you to connect with different people with whom you share those hobbies and you can become the instigator as Seth. Keep saying you can become the impresario of that community and you can have very unique hobbies on which you can start different podcasts and just indulge in those shared experiences. So I really like podcasting as a means to. Grow to to like develop this growth mindset towards life in general. So yeah I really like broadcasting as a medium.

03:53.42
podcomm
There’s an interesting piece in there about so sometimes podcasters talk about what is the magic. You know why is audio is so great, but but there’s also this there’s a piece of magic that happens when 2 people have a conversation.

04:02.68
Saurabh
Um.

04:09.90
podcomm
And we know that we’re trying to make a thing together. It’s almost like if we if we were to like paint but we knew that nobody was ever supposed to see the painting. It’s like yeah well yeah, we just kind of like screw around but because you and I know that people aren’t listening at this instant but we know people theoretically. Will be listening it. It causes us this is my thoughts I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this. It causes us to think about is this worth saying out loud is this worth taking up 2 seconds of Saurabh and everybody else’s time and I I just think there’s. That additional piece of magic like the conversations that you have spontaneously on the street. They don’t have that same bit of magic in there and I’m just wondering. First of all, you’re you’re nodding so I’m guessing you agree but is there is there more to it than that or is it really as simple as knowing that people are listening forces us to think more about.

04:50.40
Saurabh
Yeah.

05:02.56
podcomm
What we choose to say out louder.

05:03.90
Saurabh
Yeah, yeah, that is ingrained in us from I think the time when we were in the hunter gatherer ah mode like we care what the tribe thinks of us. So whenever things are just in private in. Like if you look at it right? Whenever thoughts are in our head. They’re kind of unfiltered but when you’re saying something to someone then you’re like okay what and now I think with the recording part. It’s not just that Okay, someone will listen to it this Week. It would be like this is this goes on my permanent record and.

05:38.16
podcomm
Right? The long tail right? The infinite shell right.

05:41.39
Saurabh
And like 20 years from now some when might you know I saw I heard that recording but it it Actually you’re quite right? It increases the quality of the Interaction. We are much more engaged much more thoughtful much more aware of what we are saying and. That really increases the quality of our like the participants like you are yours and mine interaction as well. As for anyone who is listening to the Podcast. So I think that’s ah how? Ah. We are being generous in that sense like we are creating value all around for that. Yeah yeah.

06:18.27
podcomm
Yes, That’s that’s a good word for it on my best days Generous Yes is a good word for it. I think the idea of I Love the the thought about you know what is the tribe like we’re in Sin grain to think about the tribes. Opinion or what the tribe thinks of us and I’m also I was thinking just now about I’m going to say throughline or the thread that we’re on so I don’t know about you but I find I’m always thinking all right if I say you know x. That’s kind of in line with what we’re discussing. But if I say why? Yeah, That’s funny, but it’s going to lead us away from the the thoroughfare and that’s also a way that it it increases the quality of our interaction because I I am less likely one is less likely to go off on random you know self-agggrandizing.

06:59.36
Saurabh
Um, yeah.

07:14.64
podcomm
Diatribes so I’m I’m wondering how we would take how do we take the things that like you and I are learning as podcasters here like you know we’re kind of like navel gazing. How do we take these things and share them with others beyond the platform like how can.

07:13.93
Saurabh
Yeah, okay.

07:24.62
Saurabh
Nothing.

07:32.10
podcomm
How can we not just do better ourselves in random conversations that aren’t recorded but how can we help other people see that it would be better if they did more of these types of things in those conversations if that makes sense.

07:45.82
Saurabh
Yeah I think like I think the best way to inspire anyone is through example and just by having the conversation. We.

07:55.28
podcomm
Um, yeah, but I would agree.

08:03.55
Saurabh
Enable the and other person to take our example and do it and I think that is the best way to teach anything or ah help anyone I like 1 thing that is coming to my mind with regards to the conversation we are having is. In the creatives workshop at akimbo seth asks us to do dailies and I had had been doing the morning pages the private morning pages for a while where I would sit for half an hour in just write, whatever comes to my mind and.

08:25.27
podcomm
Um.

08:33.65
podcomm
Brain.

08:41.51
Saurabh
Shifted from morning pages to dailies and I saw the texture of my writing change the texture of the content Change. It was much more aware. It was much more ah empathetic to the reader that somebody would read it and the quality of my writing went up. The morning pages went in cycles. The dailies went forward so because the dailies were in the public site. Although it was a like very selected cohort closed cohort but it’s still yeah.

09:04.28
podcomm
Um, um.

09:11.53
podcomm
Yeah, it’s a closed community but it’s a it’s people You don’t know right? yeah.

09:18.94
Saurabh
Yeah, even with people I know like I have a system set up with my own students. But when I’m writing dailies. The texture is different. So both the morning pages have their own ah utility for me because they help me just take the trash out like.

09:38.64
podcomm
I Know what you mean right.

09:38.34
Saurabh
Just empty my brain and yeah and that is also very important because otherwise it starts accumulating. So yeah.

09:46.95
podcomm
I talk about my head being a snow globe. You know the glass thing with the floating and it’s like I’ll shake it up and there’s a million little things in there. It’s like morning pages is like the tap drain the snow out on the side. You know what you mean? um I’m interested in the word texture your use of the word texture to talk about the.

09:53.24
Saurabh
Yeah, next here? yeah. Yes.

10:05.62
podcomm
Difference in morning pages and as much as I don’t love this Question. Can you tell me more about what you mean by texture because that that really interests me the idea of like what is it because I don’t know that’s different between what you were producing via morning pages type of practice. And when you were producing as a daily or you know shipped practice.

10:24.12
Saurabh
Yeah I think it’s kind of like how you if you’re at home and you would like wear any t-shirt or any shorts and just relax versus you’re going to a meeting where you’re going to meet 20 people and you’re like no I need to be well dressed. So you’re wearing clothes in both the places but the texture of the clothes and your thought texture of your thoughts regarding the clothes have changed significantly and you’re putting you are being much more mindful when you’re going out whether it’s a party whether it’s a. Business meeting whether it’s just a casual hangout. But you’re being very mindful over what you’re wearing whereas when you are alone and you’re not expecting Anyone. You’re like yeah I don’t care that much. Yeah, this is happening. So I think that texture changes when we move from private.

11:13.39
podcomm
Save.

11:22.00
Saurabh
1 is going to see this to a semi public or a public kind of exposure. Yeah.

11:26.33
podcomm
Space That’s a great point. Not that I’m self-consious but I’m wearing t-shirts but I will say I actually have although they all look the same I think I have I I have different.

11:39.17
Saurabh
It’s a very nice t-shirt create. It’s like here here.

11:42.43
podcomm
Have different sets of t-shirts I have like 1 whole set of t-shirts that I use when I can be seen on video calls and I actually considered switching to collllar shirts. But I I noticed that most of the people that I’m talking to aren’t have someone like I do it intentionally but I do have different shirts. They actually feel a little different. They’re a little more expensive and I sit differently I’m like.

11:51.66
Saurabh
Are are yeah.

12:01.36
podcomm
Ah wow, you’re calling me out on all these things that I actually am doing because these episodes it’s such a stripped down minimum viable podcast. They’re almost like daies I would do them daily if I could. It’s just a matter of getting people to schedule in. But yeah, that’s ah I think that’s a great point you make about awareness and.

12:08.38
Saurabh
Yeah, yeah.

12:21.49
podcomm
Unpacking and being mindful.

12:21.89
Saurabh
Yeah.

12:24.95
podcomm
What else springs to mind around I’m glad that I’m I’m kind of excited I’m glad we got to the morning pages because that reminded me we talked about that once before like think in our previous call a month ago we were talking about morning pages and dailies and I would have never thought to bring that back up. Um.

12:36.43
Saurabh
A yeah.

12:44.80
podcomm
Yeah I’m torn between saying so first of all where in the world are you because I know where you are but nobody else does.

12:50.65
Saurabh
Yeah I am in New Delhi India and so I’ll tell a few things so that people who want to connect with me can connect. So ah yeah I so I have an organization called passionately curious and the basic idea is to help.

12:59.87
podcomm
Oh that’s great. Yes.

13:10.55
Saurabh
Individuals become more self-aware and then build a career centered around their individuality so that is what the core of my work looks like to help people do that design and build a career centered around their individuality. And so they can check more of it at passionately curious I n so same spelling passionately curious dot I n and yeah, there is a link to connect with me 1 on one. So if anyone wants to just have a discussion. There is a callendly link there so they can connect with me there and. Yeah, that for you could wait to reach me.

13:49.91
podcomm
Thank you for sharing that I’m also Wondering. Um, so for me in my personal life I don’t randomly run into a lot of people not because I avoid them but just based on where I live There isn’t like and it’s how our society is kind of wired these days. Um, but I do run into people a lot but it’s like people in my neighborhood like I know them well or it’s my cousin or my mom or whatever Do you find that you encounter a lot of new people like maybe new students when the semester changes and and how does that do you find any cycles.

14:24.27
Saurabh
Um.

14:26.60
podcomm
Make an actual question out of this for you. Do you find that there are cycles in your creative work based on the cycles in your exposure to new people.

14:34.59
Saurabh
Yeah, yeah, so I think ah I’ll just share. Ah what I’ve realized is in the last two years especially is like 2 particular communities that I mean engaging with a lot one is the akimbo community. The.

14:54.44
podcomm
Um.

14:53.72
Saurabh
But that Seth code in has set up so different people have connected through the kimbo actually I actually got to know you about you also through that community only so that is one and the second is the passionately curious community which is what I have set up so helping those students learn. About generosity and empathy and all those things the the exposure to new people for me is like they’re multiple channels one is where I have to grow my own work. So how do I generate new leads. How do I reach out to more people. So I do a lot of open workshops where new students can come in and we can have a discussion and if it makes sense then we can take it forward. There are also 1 thing that I’m taking inspiration from you is how can I make this a habit of interviewing people maybe a daily habit or a weekly. Schedule where I’m just whoever I’m meeting I’m just having this conversation because a lot of time I’m in different meetings but I have not built that connect with them and it it just hardly takes a 30 minute or 45 minutes call to really connect as a human being. So. Yeah, these are the different avenues I’m thinking of exploring in order to connect with different new people.

16:17.34
podcomm
Again I Like how mindful you are about that. That’s a great I mean I’m im mindful about a lot of things but sometimes I’m on autopilot So I like that you’re mindful about the different spaces that you’re in and the different types of people that you encounter. Um, let’s go do some random stuff. How about.

16:25.35
Saurabh
And Africa.

16:36.42
podcomm
Um, what’s something that people get wrong about you. Do you think.

16:41.51
Saurabh
So yeah, I’ll yeah I’ll try to answer this is is this is a tricky question. But so what? yeah ah I’m not ah like I will call people out on their bs.

16:53.20
podcomm
That’s hard. Yes.

17:00.99
Saurabh
Like I will when they come and say rationalize that they’re doing this stuff while they should be doing that stuff and that stuff matters to them more than this stuff but they are like no but I have to do this stuff so that I can go to that stuff I am the one who will call them out I am the one will like. This is all Bs go to that This is and so a lot of time people Misunderstand they think that I am like I am judging them on their situation or I’m like not understanding them whereas. What I feel is if I don’t tell them then maybe no one else will like if I don’t tell them to write that book right now and not wait another ten years until the cows come home I don’t think they have anybody else who will do that for them.

17:42.51
podcomm
Um.

17:52.81
podcomm
Right.

17:58.43
Saurabh
And so yeah, a lot of people try. They are not running away from me. They try to run away from themselves and in the process they run away from me because they know that if they’re talking to me then I’m not going to validate their like rationalizations or.

18:12.72
podcomm
Um.

18:17.64
Saurabh
I’m not going to say yeah me too because I had don’t like ah I want someone to keep me on the hook and I want people to be on the hook. So yeah, that is something that lot of people don’t understand.

18:32.80
podcomm
Yeah I think that’s a great thing to do though I think what you’re doing is a great way to to be compassionate and also quite honestly it means you’re really curious if you’re aware enough to know what they should be working on.

18:45.56
Saurabh
Um, yeah.

18:47.28
podcomm
Um, being mindful of our time I don’t want to tempt fate by trying to go along and then having the call drop at the end. Um is there. Ah since I asked you a hard question. Is there anything that you wanted to ask me that you haven’t asked me yet. Also a hard question. But.

18:58.26
Saurabh
Um, how no no I really I have a question for you. So like you mentioned you are semi-retired and how like I think financially you are like not worried about your. Day to day expenses or how you’ll survive and you’re now doing work for fun versus like when you would have started like way back in the day whenever you are telling me 90 s so how how is it different like doing the creative work then and doing the creative work now.

19:34.32
podcomm
And people are going like wait. What and yes, sorry you missed the conversation where we discussed all that stuff. Um I would say that the the big difference is I don’t know I don’t know whether I should say I didn’t use to be creative or whether I should say.

19:38.39
Saurabh
Are.

19:49.38
Saurabh
Um I.

19:52.97
podcomm
Didn’t realize that I was being creative I’m not quite sure what the proper way to put it is but now it’s very clear to me that not everything but all the stuff that I really enjoy is creative work and I’m thinking that I probably was creative. You know I’m going back 30 years I probably was creative but because I didn’t realize that I probably wasn’t like it was just random like I do a bunch of stuff and some of it was creative and I didn’t really get it. Um, so now here comes mindful again. I’m very mindful of what am I actually doing.

20:11.37
Saurabh
Son.

20:28.25
Saurabh
Head.

20:30.10
podcomm
And is this like the creative stuff that moves me toward my goal or that does what I want to be accomplishing and when I’m not being creative like all right? Well I have to have the vacuum too. You know I need to do laundry. That’s not creative, but that’s what I’m doing today like so now I think the biggest difference is the mindfulness about what.

20:32.74
Saurabh
Yeah.

20:39.75
Saurabh
Um, yeah.

20:49.12
podcomm
Kind of thing it is that I’m doing at any moment. Um, because I’ve had I’ve had trains of thought where I’m like well you know oh I wasted a decade you’re like well actually I’m not sure that I wasted a decade because I don’t think I could have the same understanding today if I hadn’t tried the things that I did um.

20:50.60
Saurabh
Me yeah.

21:05.80
Saurabh
Yeah, ah yeah.

21:07.37
podcomm
Didn’t like make mistakes and like burn things to the ground but like the the focus is so much different now for the kinds of things that I say yes to versus the kinds of things I say no thank you to so that’s the thing that comes to mind first is about which what of my time is creative now and being aware of that.

21:15.94
Saurabh
Um, yeah.

21:23.54
Saurabh
Yeah, yeah, and just one follow-up question on that. What advice would you give to yourself when you the the predominant thought on your mind was how will I pay rent.

21:25.39
podcomm
And not not having been aware of that before. That’s the thing that comes to mind.

21:42.29
podcomm
Um, yeah I get lots of great stories about you know, sitting on milk crates and eating pizza and stuff. Um I think I think that it would be a long play. So I I think there are things that I started learning about like um.

21:42.75
Saurabh
The next month or and. Yeah.

22:01.72
podcomm
The ideas about like what do you really control and thoughts that I’ve gotten from like reading about zen and reading about meditation and and all these things I think what I would have said to myself would have been to try and sneak those ideas in sooner. So rather than waiting you know until maybe. All but fifteen years ago if I had found that stuff thirty years ago like maybe if I had taken some philosophy courses in college I might have stumbled on this idea sooner. But I’m pretty sure that the craig of thirty years ago would not have taken any direct instruction from anybody including Craig from the future with a time machine. So.

22:34.43
Saurabh
And.

22:40.00
podcomm
It would have had to have been some sort of like you might be interested in reading this like something esoteric slipped in so that I would discover things sooner I think that would be the only thing that would have actually worked um to literally how I would do that I’m I’m not sure that would take a lot of thought but I think it would be like sort of like an end run.

22:47.23
Saurabh
Yeah, yeah.

22:53.77
Saurabh
Yeah.

22:59.44
podcomm
On it.

23:00.60
Saurabh
That’s that’s really helpful I think because I interact mostly with young students who are in their twenty s and I think what I’m getting out of your advice is just explore like don’t limit yourself to what you’re doing like yeah.

23:13.30
podcomm
Um, well I think you’re on the right track because your project is called passionately curious and I’m like yeah, that’s it like that What there’s a phrase like if you aren’t if you’re bored. It’s because you’re not curious and if you’re curious.

23:18.21
Saurabh
Yeah.

23:27.75
podcomm
Sorry there’s no cure for that like once you’re curious. It’s a self-feeding cycle. So I think you’re on the right track. Ah all right Ill be mindful of your time and I think that’s a great place to stop so Saurabh. Thanks for taking the time in particularly for like putting in the effort and being tenacious about.

23:27.66
Saurabh
Um, yeah, makes it yeah here. That’s amazing. Yeah.

23:45.42
podcomm
Getting on the call and helping me make this into a thing that actually exists in the world and helping me ship it Thanks Sort of.

23:48.86
Saurabh
Thank thank you so much. It was a pleasure. It’s just I just feel wonderful that I got to talk to you 3 times even though we are shipping it only once but it was really cool here.