Rich Hebron: The Slow Life, Rethinking Homelessness, French Pressed Meditation, Museums, Books, Chicago, and Defining Success (#30)

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Today on the show I’m joined by my buddy Rich Hebron (@richhebron). Rich Hebron is a writer, illustrator, and public speaker from Chicago, Illinois. His podcast Rich Conversations is available on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and YouTube.

I love this guy. Rich Hebron is a true renaissance man. In three words? Playful. Wise. Open. Rich Hebron is like an open treasure chest in the middle of an urban park. You walk through the city, distracted by the sights and sounds. But then you discover the park, like that big park in New York City. Sitting in that park is an open treasure chest. You peek inside. It’s full of ancient wisdom on how to live life to the fullest. That’s Rich Hebron.

When Rich was 22 years old he voluntarily lived homeless to see what it was like. He remembers those experiences to this day. And in this episode he shares what he learned about homelessness, and how we need to rethink what it means to live without permanent housing.

Rich brings the sort of joy to a conversation that reminds me why I love talking to people. This is only round one of a hundred more episodes we’ll have together.

Please enjoy this wide ranging conversation about books, museums, dinosaurs, life, death, rethinking homelessness (Rich spent months living homeless), and, of course, so much more.

Cheers, and here’s to your good health this week.
-Paul


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Making stuff is easy (part 2)

Today I was going to write to you about something else, but I forgot what I was going to say. This juicy comment from Stuart on Making stuff is easy stole my attention. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember that brilliant thing I was going to tell you.

Stuart writes,

Passionate doesn’t mean romantic. The passionate creator is often faced with the deafening silence of a subscriber count of 0, the barrenness of an empty comment section, and an email list of roommates who signed up just to be nice.

But even with a subscriber count of 1,000, a comment section as lively as Times Square, and an email list of every friend, colleague, and fan they’ve ever met, the passionate creator pretends those things don’t exist. Not because of delusion. Not because they’re above anyone. But because the passionate creator holds close in memory the motivation of deafeningly null subscriber counts, ghost town comment sections, and newsletters sent out to nobody.

Remember where you started.

The buzz of an opinion

Everybody has something to say about something.

A popular morning routine is to wake up, check the news, have an opinion, and finally to wish someone were around to hear our opinion about whatever’s on the news.

So why not write the opinion down?

Once you start writing it down, you come to a question: is this an opinion, or a reaction? Is it me that feels this way, or is it my history of knee-jerk reactions to these words, images, and stories? Do I know what I’m talking about, or am I a babbling idiot?

Shouting our reactions to stories we’d rather not hear gives us a buzz as strong as caffeine. And like an extra shot of espresso, an audience for our reactions makes us feel alive, energized, and, especially, validated.

If it’s worth the trouble of writing down, it’s worth the trouble of reading.

But if you still feel the buzz of an opinion, you’re not writing. You’re shouting.

Let Them Disagree

My buddy Cullin is at the scariest time of any writer’s life.

He’s expressing a unique point of view.

With his name on it.

In public.

He’s detaching himself from mass thinking, even if the much of the mass is partly favor of the “good guy.”

To come alive as a writer, as a creator, is to accept the fact that people will disagree with you. What’s scary about this is that most people confuse disagreeing with dismantling a friendship. “I can’t disagree with you because your standpoint is so foreign to me, so instead I’m just going to cut you out of my life.”

Their loss.

It’s rare to find a writer brave enough to not only challenge collective assumptions, but to challenge them in public.

Cullin is one of those writers.

Here’s his newest piece about a young man trying to find his way through today’s chaotic world.