Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™ Podcast is a celebration of people, ideas and companies that stand out. A leader in the category “dialogue podcasts,” it feels like eavesdropping on a surprisingly captivating, candid, insightful, no-BS and conversation. Lochhead features legends whose names you will know and everyday legends who you’ll love getting to know. New York Times Bestselling author Hal Elrod calls it “one of the best podcasts of all time”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls Lochhead “an exploding star – a quasar across the sky", Fast Company Magazine calls him “a human exclamation point”, The Marketing Journal says he’s “one of the best minds in marketing” and The Economist says he’s, “off-putting to some”.
238 Hear Yourself: How To Find Peace In A Noisy World with Prem Rawat
Is peace really possible? Our guest today says it is. In this special episode of Follow Your Different, Prem Rawat talks about how to find peace in a noisy world.
Prem Rawat has been teaching peace since he was a little boy in India. He became a counterculture icon in the 60s and the 70s, as Americans sought out different ideas and beliefs. He’s been a source of great controversy and massive followership over the years. Prem has been sought out and welcomed by spiritual, social and political and business leaders around the world.
Prem Rawat has a new book out, called Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World. We are here to discuss all that and more, so stay tuned.
Prem Rawat on the Current State of the World
When asked about his current thoughts, Prem talks about the current state of the world. For him, it seems that there’s just too much drama and chaos in the world right now. Though the current situation right now plays a big factor as to why it may be so, people are still whipping it up and causing drama left and right.
While it is the nature of humanity to seek out exciting events and drama, it seems that we have become morbidly so, despite the situation being something as it is right now. Much so that we choose to forgo peace to chase the next drama.
“Well, you know, here's the paradox, because (when) you look at human beings, human beings are remarkable. We've been able to conquer disease, we've been able to invent so many wonderful things that that has helped other people. Though at the same time we can create medicine that can that can prolong life, we can also create machine guns that can take away the lives. So we always live in this paradox.
I always feel that we have to choose, and I talk about peace. I feel that we have to choose peace. It's not just going to happen automatically, that is not going to drop from the sky, on people, whether they like it or not. It's just that Something that we have to choose. And the question then becomes, is that what we're choosing?” – Prem Rawat
Prem continues on how we should actively choose peace. Because the way we are treating it right now, it’s just something that we expect to happen to us, despite being distracted by everyday noise. If you want peace for yourself, you have to distance yourself from the noise and drama, and choose peace.
“Well, peace is already within you, (but) you have to gain access to it. And that's what this book is all about: getting in touch with yourself. Because we are so distracted. In fact, being with yourself, in an environment is considered the worst form of punishment you can possibly have. We have become so attracted to everything else that we became distracted from ourselves. That is a pretty sad state of affairs, when it comes to ourselves. That being with you, just being with you, is the worst thing you could ever do.” – Prem Rawat
Can We Really Have Peace?
Prem shares his life of going around the world and speaking to the international crowd about peace. Though he thinks that just doing that was not enough, and that is why he wrote his book. With it, he hopes that it can spark a meaningful conversation or even a debate about peace.
Though there are those who say peace is not possible, that it is in the human nature to seek conflict or drama. For Prem, this is not so, as peace is already within all of us. So for him, these people can be considered sourgraping, in a sense.
“It's a question of sour grapes. there's a lot of people say it this way. It's like, oh no, peace is not possible. It’s not going to happen. But when peace is already inside of us, why isn't that ever going to happen? And isn't it up to us? If we can create wars, why can't we create peace?” – Prem Rawat
To hear more from Prem Rawat and how to find peace in this noisy world,
237 Creative Acts for Curious People with Stanford Design School Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg
In this episode of Follow Your Different, we talk about all things creativity, innovation, and design. Our guest today is Sarah Stein Greenberg, the Executive Director of Stanford’s Design School, aka the d.school.
She has a new book out called Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways. They have taken years of learning and ideas from Stanford’s Design school and put it in this awesome new book, and we get to dive in to all of it.
Sarah shares why reflections matter so much, and also tells why metacognition is important. We dig into what it's like running one of the most well-known design schools in the world, and how design students are different today than they were in the not-so-distant past. Also, pay special attention to Sarah's ideas on weird and the role of curiosity in creativity and design.
Sarah Stein Greenberg on Reflections and Creativity
Sarah talks about finally being back in the physical space of Stanford campus. She describes the space that she has a space for reflection, full of writing space to record her thoughts as they come.
When asked if reflection is really important in design, Sara shares that it plays a part in it. That it is something that should go hand-in-hand with action.
“I think reflection is kind of the underappreciated partner of action. In a lot of cases, when people think about creativity, they think about brainstorming and exuberance, and that that spark of inspiration. But reflection, I think about it as it's like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, those two things are, inextricably linked action and reflection. So yeah, I'm a big proponent of those quiet moments, where you're trying to make sense or really think about what might be the implications of your creative work.” = Sarah Stein Greenberg
What? So What? Now What?
Sarah shares about the difference between thinking and reflection. Thinking might include everything from coming up with new ideas, charting the vision, or even some parts of analysis / research. Reflection focuses more on thinking about your own process or practice, or looking back at your data more critically.
Sarah goes on to say that reflection in particular benefits from specific scaffolding and practices, and brings up one of her favorite one: the What? / So What? / Now What?, which a few of her colleagues have originated.
“The scaffold is called What? So what? Now What? You can kind of have a scaffolded reflection and think about, what did I just learn in that particular class or that particular project? How do I want to improve my own work? But if you use a scaffold like What, So What, and Now What, you really get into the details. You might write down everything that happened, then you might think about what did all of that mean? Why is that important? Why did that feel like what I wanted to capture? And then Now What is the opportunity to think for each of those. So what for each of those implications? What do I want to do about that? Is that something I want to practice? Is that something I want to improve?” = Sarah Stein Greenberg
For Sarah, the quality of reflections changes dramatically if you have a detailed flow on how to approach and assess what you currently have.
Sarah Stein Greenberg on Metacognition
The conversation then steers into how a lot of people nowadays aren’t really thinking, or thinking about thinking. Most content or “new things” in the market are just variations of the same things that we already have, just rebranded or given a new “spin”.
Sarah agrees with this sentiment, and also talks about metacognition, which is the technical term for “thinking about thinking”. For her, it's a skill that should be embedded in the heart of our education.
“(Metacognition) is one of those kinds of secret skills that I firmly believe should be embed...
236 “My Family Is Trapped In Afghanistan” An Entrepreneur’s Story with Noorullah Akbari, Founder of Rosalyn AI
Imagine the life you love, the freedoms you enjoy, and the opportunities you have. All the safety and security you take for granted, vaporized in a matter of days. Imagine that many in your family, friends, and loved ones are now hostages. Noorullah Akbari doesn't have to imagine any of that.
In this episode of Follow Your Different, Noorullah Akbari talks about the situation of his family and millions of Afghan citizens that are still living in Kabul at this time. Noor is the founder and CEO of a company called Rosalyn.AI, and they are on a mission to use advanced technology in making a difference for students’ education. He's also a former Afghan refugee living in the United States of America. Right now as we speak, Noor is fighting to get about 20 members of his family out of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Our hope is that this dialogue will help humanize the plight of the very real people in Afghanistan who are suffering right now who want out, and that this very real dialogue will be shared, emailed, tweeted and posted broadly in the United States. Because no matter what you think about the US’ withdrawal in Afghanistan, there are now 35 million people who are experiencing the most horrifying change imaginable in their lives through no fault of their own.
Noorullah Akbari on the Taliban
We start the conversation by asking about the situation with Noor’s family. He shares that his sisters and their family, as well as some of his relatives are still in Kabul. They are quite afraid, and thought that there would be a massacre once the Taliban solidifies their hold.
While the Taliban has said that they will not do such a thing, the family do not trust their word. According to Noor, they think that the Taliban hasn’t done so because they do not want any negative perception at this time. As we live in a technological age, phones and the internet are everywhere. A simple picture depicting their violence could derail the "good image" they want to portray.
Though technology might be keeping the Taliban in check for now, there are limits to what it can do.
“When there are no cameras, they go after those who they believe have aided the infidels and foreigners. They (The Taliban) tell them now, they don't do that currently in Kabul. And the main reason is, there are cell phones out there. They haven't banned the internet yet, so that people can take pictures. That will cause them trouble with the international community. But the practice has always been to come after their enemies, kill them and take revenge. So no, you can't trust the terrorists.” - Noorullah Akbari
Life on the Ground
Noor explains that while he wants to get all their relatives out of Kabul as soon as possible, there are some who are in immediate danger due to their previous involvement with the US forces.
Though he also stresses that most of the people in Kabul have worked directly or indirectly with the US at various times. So it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to think that all of those people will also be considered as enemies by the Taliban.
Yet some might be looking for a way out, simply because they do not want to live under another Taliban regime.
“I can tell you, they have all lived a life under the previous regime of Taliban. When you were going to watch soccer, right after there were public executions, or stoning of people, or beating of women. Women did not have the ability to walk around without men or without the Burqa. It was pretty brutal. You didn't have any personal freedom, the economy was bad. People were walking around like zombies. And everybody remembers that.” - Noorullah Akbari
So when the US forces drove out the Taliban from Kabul 20 years ago, it was like a new lease of life was given to the citizens living there. To have that freedom taken away now, it’s understandable why people do not want to experience it all over again.
235 Moby’s Different Life, Extreme Ways, and New Little Pine Cookbook
If you’re a long-time listener, you know that we do not have many celebrities as guests on Follow Your Different. We take a pass on most of them because frankly, they're not that interesting. However, Moby is not your typical celebrity or Hollywood type.
Moby is a breakout musician, DJ, and songwriter. He's sold over 20 million records worldwide, and he is credited with helping to bring electronic dance music to a mainstream global audience. He is also an animal advocate and a deeply-committed vegan, and he’s got a brand-new cookbook out. It’s called Little Pine Cookbook, which is based on the recipes of Little Pine, a restaurant that he had founded.
What you're about to hear is a real dialogue like none other: from Moby’s tough start in life, to making and breaking it and having it all fall apart, then building yourself back again. You’ll also hear stories on Moby meeting his heroes, including what it was like to hang out with none other than David Bowie.
Moby on Meeting Your Heroes
To Moby, making the cover for David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ has a personal context. He shares that when he was around 12, he had bought two David Bowie albums. Since then, David Bowie became his favorite musician of all time.
Then in the late 90’s, they became friends. Then neighbors. They even went on tours together, worked on music together, and enjoyed each other’s company.
“We had this one amazing day where he was in my apartment in New York. We played an acoustic version of heroes together. It was such a magical moment that the version of Heroes on Reprise is sort of a tribute to the song; a tribute to the fact that I was friends with my favorite musician of all time, and a tribute to this moment of playing Heroes with the greatest musician of all time.” - Moby
That said, there is a saying that goes, “you should never meet your heroes, because they are sure to disappoint you.” Moby acknowledges that there are times that it is true. Though in David Bowie’s case, it only made him appreciate the person and his music more after meeting him.
Moby on Being a Public Figure
It’s not unusual to look up to icons and dream of one day becoming one. Being famous or a public figure is a dream that a lot of people have. Though according to Moby, being a public figure can be more stressful than it’s worth.
It might sound pretentious or narcissistic coming from a place of having achieved it already, but it is something Moby wishes to share through his book, ‘Then It Fell Apart’. His documentary, Moby Doc, also shines a bit of light into this:
“The idea is that the human condition is one of confusion. You know, as long as we're human, we're baffled. So It seems like we all gravitate towards things that give us a sense of meaning, structure, and status. And so the book ‘Then It Fell Apart’ and ‘Moby Doc’ is sort of looking at that. Like how I had my own individual experience of bafflement, and how I tried to find anything that would give me that sense of meaning, purpose, status, comfort, what have you.” - Moby
Living the Rockstar Life
When asked whether he thinks that he’s “living the rockstar life”, Moby thinks that he has lived a life so far that has given him a unique perspective. As someone who has been to the extreme ends of both poverty, wealth, and varying degrees of fame, it has given him an insight that is undenyingly his own.
Yet while the specific details are unique to him alone, the general circumstance is not. That is why Moby felt that he had to share his story. Not so much as to show everyone what he has achieved in his life so far, but as a reference for those who are aspiring for such a lifestyle, or those who might be in a similar situation.
To hear more from Moby and his insights on meeting your heroes and living an accomplished life, download and listen to this episode.
234 How Misfits Succeed with Tech Legend, Co-Founder of Intel Capital Avram Miller, Author of “Flight of The Wild Duck”
A few companies have had the impact in the technology industry that Intel has had. Without Intel, the personal computer might never have happened the way that it did. In this episode of Follow Your Different, we go inside Intel, and inside the life of one of the tech industry’s true living legends, Avram Miller.
Avram Miller is best known as the co-founder of Intel Capital, the most successful corporate venture group in the history of the technology industry. What Avram and his partners created became the model for corporate venture capital in Silicon Valley. In addition, he's also famous for spotting and leading Intel's initiative to create and expand residential broadband internet access.
He’s got a new book out, called Flight of the Wild Duck, and improbably journey through life and technology. So for those who call the Internet your home, stay tuned and have a deep, meaningful, and unedited real dialogue with a true legend.
Avram Miller on Being a 'Misfit'
When asked about the term ‘misfit’ and what it means for him, Avram shares that for him, it was somebody who wasn’t really right for the system. Though it’s not like that somebody has a problem or is not doing anything, but more of that they couldn’t do what was expected of them.
Which was not to say that he himself was a misfit growing up. Rather, that was how he thought others perceived him. This left him confused and eventually getting the impression that there might be something wrong with him.
Nowadays, he doesn’t get the feeling of being a misfit anymore, though there’s still the notion of feeling like the odd man out.
“I think I still feel like the odd man out. Often, and not so much because of my life today. If I were to be back in my previous life, I would guess I would still feel like I didn't quite fit in. You know, I was at Intel for 15 years, I achieved a fairly high position at Intel one of the when I was there. And that's actually kind of what caused me to use the title of my book, which was the Flight of a Wild Duck, which is what Andy Grove, he referred to me as that. But you know, the, the Wild Duck is the duck does not going in the same direction as the other ducks.” - Avram Miller
Life at Intel
Despite all this, Avram did not have any problems working for Intel, and the feeling was mutual. That’s because he has something to give to the company that they needed. So while he doesn’t think he fits in completely, he still had a lot to offer on the table, and Intel valued him for it.
“At Intel, things really based on results. And I had results, I could make things happen. So once I could show that I could make results, once I could achieve things, everything was pretty much okay, because I was judged on my contributions.” - Avram Miller
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Fitting In
That said, he thinks that while these systems are great for finding people that fit, there can also be drawbacks to it. While you can get people that might fit in to your idea of a perfect system, you might miss out on those ‘misfits’ that end up changing the landscape of business.
“Most people go through life, and they go through some system, which was devised in the industrial age. You should think of that process is a funnel that’s filtering out people, it's filtering out misfits. And at the end, you have people that are really, really good at doing certain things, and no good at doing other things. But those other things are needed. And it's a strength, because you have all these people that are very, very good at doing certain things, like showing up on time. But it's a weakness, because they don't have the creativity, the imagination, the intuition, all this has been filtered out. Either they've suppressed it, or the people that had it just didn't make it through the funnel.” - Avram Miller
233 How Ten Global Cities Take On Homelessness with Linda Gibbs & Muzzy Rosenblatt
Homelessness is a daunting, heartbreaking, and complex problem. There are currently about half a million Americans experiencing homelessness to this day. So in this episode of Follow Your Different, let’s dig into what we can do to make a difference with our guests Linda Gibbs and Muzzy Rosenblatt, two of the authors of a powerful new book called How 10 Global Cities Take On Homelessness.
Linda Gibbs served as a Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Resources for New York City from 2005 to 2013. During her tenure, New York City was the only top 20 city in America whose poverty rate did not rise. Today, Linda is a principal at Bloomberg Associates, which is a philanthropic consulting arm of Michael Bloomberg’s nonprofit organization. They work with cities globally to make a difference, particularly in areas of homelessness. Also with us is Muzzy Rosenblatt, who is the CEO of BRC, a nonprofit that has worked for 50 years to provide housing and treatment services to homeless adults in New York City.
It's safe to say that Linda and Muzzy are definitely experts in grappling with homelessness. The insights they share in their book are based on two extraordinary careers that are dedicated on solving the issue of homelessness. So if you have ever been homeless at some point in your life, or know someone who is in this situation, this dialogue is something you will want to hear from start to finish.
Linda Gibbs on Solving the Homelessness Problem
When asked why we can’t seem to solve the homelessness problem, Linda shares that it’s not really a complex problem, but it is hard one to tackle. It doesn’t take a brilliant idea, or a new, innovative solution to solve it. The solution is easily staring us in the face, but we can’t implement them due to certain factors.
One of the reasons is the vast amounts of resources that needs to be allocated to make it happen. You need to have the money to put the basic programs that can help people in motion. Though according to Linda, that’s not even the biggest issue.
“The harder part, quite frankly, is it requires people who work in many different organizations at different levels of government. It requires that they all work together, like a well-oiled machine. The biggest problem is that these different systems, they all have their flaws. Also, many of the systems who have to be working together to fix the problem, are the very systems that generate the problem. And so, getting them to the table and working together toward one unified objective is the biggest challenge by far.” – Linda Gibbs
Linda Gibbs on Why They Care
Before going further with the discussion, we asked both our guests why they people should care about the homeless. Linda shares that this is not something that people choose willingly for themselves. There are multiple factors as to why someone would be homeless. As a community, Linda thinks that we can do better for ourselves and our neighbors, especially those who are in dire need of our help.
“We live in, in many ways, a deeply flawed society, and we have to do better. We have to address the consequences of those flaws. And it's incumbent on us that we need to fix those flaws, and we need to be committed to the longer-term reforms. Though we also have to address the faults now while we focus on those longer-term strategies.” – Linda Gibbs
Muzzy Rosenblatt on the Importance of Solving Homelessness
Muzzy agrees with Linda’s views, but also recognize that some people might not see the same as them. He would encourage everyone to help, but doesn’t force them to do so.
Though he points out that it can be beneficial for cities to tackle their city’s issue of homelessness instead of just doing temporary measures to alleviate them. For one thing, the money being spent on keeping things in the current status quo is coming from taxpayer’s money,
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Most podcasts are carefully edited. Not this one...the conversation that you hear is the conversation that was had. Subscribe to this one YOU WON’T be sorry nor broke. Chris brings on the guests, asks the deeper questions & pulls no punches that can change your entire life. All you have to do is apply it.
People seem to like this, that’s pretty cool
Pisses off actual Scotts
Wouldn’t recommend. Not enough swearing.