The YOGI M.D. Podcast

Social Health - Contributing to Community - with Seth Godin

Episode Summary

In this week’s episode, the subject is Social Health, “Contributing to Community”. Seth Godin, author of 19 books, founder of the altMBA and the Akimbo Workshops is my guest. Seth writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything. Seth and I discuss how we are capable of doing our best work - work that matters, to create meaningful change in our communities, thereby creating a healthier society. Why are empathy, generosity, trust, and integrity, core values that are paramount to doing our best work? Tune in to hear find out.

Episode Notes

SETH GODIN is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Akimbo Workshops, online seminars that have transformed the work of thousands of people.

He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip  and Purple Cow. His latest book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. His podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide.

In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than 20,000 people have taken his powerful Akimbo workshops, including the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar.

In this episode, the subject is Social Health, “Contributing to Community”. Seth and I discuss how we are capable of doing our best work - work that matters - to create meaningful change in our communities, thereby creating a healthier society.




The YOGI MD Podcast Theme Music by Lisette Kelly (bass and guitar), Maya Bishop (vocals), & Nadine Kelly (percussion); Produced by Tim Buell.

Episode Transcription

YOGI MD  0:04 

Welcome to the YOGI MD Podcast. It's Nadine, yoga teacher, health coach and retired doctor, here to bring you and your body together. Not in sickness, but in health. Thanks for taking this time for yourself.


Seth Godin  0:26 

It's this universal ailment of don't speak up too much, or you'll get in trouble. And if you don't speak up, we don't end up with community. And so I'm trying to help people realize, if the speaking up is generous. If the speaking up comes with dignity, then it's our obligation to do it.


YOGI MD  0:45 

Why our empathy, generosity, trust and integrity, core values that are paramount to doing work that matters, and makes a difference to community? And how does contributing to community make us socially healthy human beings? It is my pleasure to bring you Seth Godin, prolific author, founder of the alt MBA and the Akimbo Workshops, who is here to answer these questions and more. Seth writes about the post Industrial Revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, coding, leadership, and most of all, changing everything.


It's September of 2011. And I've just been diagnosed with major clinical depression. I choose to save my life by leaving my medical practice. But I'm feeling the crushing weight of perceived failure. Because I'm the eldest daughter of Haitian immigrants who did not go to college. And I'm thinking that I've let them down. I think I've let my husband down, my girls down. And I think that I've lost the battle to prove to my colleagues that I deserve the title, Dr. Kelly. I feel like an abyss of uncertainty looms ahead. But my brother in law, Orlando Bishop, helps me, he helps me to shift my perception, from an abyss of uncertainty to an open road of possibility. He recommends a blog by Mr. Seth Godin. And I commit to reading it faithfully, never missing a day. Seven years later, I join the first Podcast Fellowship (Workshop now) by Seth Godin, and Alex DiPalma. And I become a podcaster. Two years later, I get to say, thank you, Seth. Thank you for showing me a door and teaching me to stop waiting for approval, but to pick myself instead, and walk through that door.


Seth Godin  3:01 

Ah, I'm all verklempt. I'm gonna cry. That's so beautiful. So beautiful. And it's all it's all to you. It's not about me. It's your caring, your generosity, your leadership, over and over again, opening doors for so many people. Thank you very much for that. Thank you for everything you're doing.


YOGI MD  3:21 

Thank you. I wanted to have you on the show today, because obviously, I'm a fan girl. And I wanted to talk about the health of community and how contributing our best work to our community, doing our best work every day, deciding to do so, makes for a healthy community. Because I really admired that about your work. One of the other things that I really love is, you're obviously a prolific author. And in reading your work, in reading your blogs, what I really appreciate is your economy of words. You really decide carefully how you're using the terminology. And it helps, at least it's helped me, to really boost my morale and my ability to be passionate about sharing my messaging in the world and by doing my best work, helping my community. One of my favorite books of yours is "V is for Vulnerable". I just love it. I think it's whimsical. And so I kind of wanted to start in the vein of looking at your vocabulary vocabulary that really resonates with me and resonates I think with a lot of my audience in terms of understanding what it means to contribute well to our society.


Seth Godin  4:40 



YOGI MD  4:41 

One of the words I find really intriguing that you use so much is art. We tend to think of art as something that requires talent or being picked or being chosen or being famous, but use art in a very succinct, specific way.


Seth Godin  4:59 

Yeah. First, thank you for all you're doing and for the way you're seeing me as I am hoping to be seen, and "V for Vulnerable" is the shortest book I've ever written. It's only 150 words long or so. And it came to me over the course of many years. And I wrote it down over the course of many minutes, because it was a chance to articulate in a Doctor Seussian sort of way, how to get under someone's skin because many of us are lucky enough to remember being read books by our parents. And in that space, something precious happened. We were seen, we were understood, someone connected with us. And so if I could use that, that feeling in a book for adults, I thought it was worth a try. I use art because I can't find a better word. And if you could find a better word, I would appreciate it because it would make my life easier. We have no problem saying that Jackson Pollock was an artist. But we also have no problem saying that Marcel Duchamp was an artist or that William Shakespeare was an artist, or even that Michael Jordan was an artist, that we can point to someone who is doing something ethereal, doing something noteworthy, remarkable and generous and say, yeah, that that was a work of art. And I don't think it should be reserved for famous people. And I don't think it should be reserved for people who buy their equipment at a craft store, or who have writer's block. I think we should open it up for anybody who is doing something where they're not following all the instructions, where they're doing something generous, and where they're doing something that might not work. And it's that last part, that's key. Might not work. And so a stand up comic, who's on their fiftieth tour stop, and saying the same jokes the same way. I'll give you that they were an artist when they were writing the jokes, but I'm not sure there are writers when they're an artist when they're reciting the jokes, because now they're a cog in their own system. So I am trying to push people to realize that at least once in your life, you did something artistic. At least once you solved a problem for someone you connected, with someone you lead, someone. Well, if you do it once, that means you can do it again. I'm never going to be able to dunk a basketball. I will argue that that is a talent because you got to be tall enough but at least once I've written something I'm proud of, which means I get to do it again.


YOGI MD  7:36 

The line that you, I'd like to quote it from the book that really stood out for me is, "Art isn't part of an even exchange. It is your chance to create imbalance which leads to connection." That's so interesting. To create imbalance.


Seth Godin  7:54 

Yeah, we could talk about that all day. Okay, so the capitalist trade economy is pretty new. Human beings were alive for 95% of our time on earth before people started worrying about being even Steven with all their trades. And you don't have a very good relationship with your bank or with your landlord. You're not inviting them over, because it's even Steven. But if your sister or brother asks you to loan them 100 bucks, you don't charge them interest. Because it's not about being apart, it's about being together. And so thousands of years ago, the biblical rule about usury was not you couldn't charge interest. It was that you couldn't charge interest to anyone in the tribe. Because the people in the tribe, it was in the spirit of connection. So if I loaned you 10 seeds, and you owe the plant some crops and grow them, and then give me back 10 seeds, that was something that was benefiting both of us. And what I feel like when we when it comes time to do art, is there might be money involved. But if you're doing it for the money, it's harder for it to be art because part of what happens with art is a magical beam of light comes down and offers the person who consumed your art, something that's really hard to find. So Leonardo da Vinci doesn't get royalties every time someone sees the Mona Lisa for the first time. That's not why he painted the Mona Lisa. And that ability to pay it forward over and over again, is the magic of community, that what I feel like you're talking about is, we can heal each other by doing this unpaid for gift on the regular, to feed our community, to lift people up.


YOGI MD  9:48 

Another word that I really admire that you talk about a lot and I think about a lot is trust. And it's it's really shifted my lens in terms of understanding why I feel loyal to certain brands or why I pick things and why certain things stop working for me, don't, no longer resonate. I'll give you an example. When I first had my Apple phone, I, clearly love music, you see my kit behind me. So I thought it was just ingenious. I was delighted like a child, when I held my first iPod, really. It was before the phone when I held the iPod and I thought, Oh, my goodness, I can have all of my music with me at all times. And it was mine, it was accessible. And it was just magical to have this thing with this extended library. I could carry all of my CDs and records around with me. And over time, it's changed. And now the other night, for instance, I'm having trouble sleeping, and I sometimes will listen to music to get myself to relax. And I turn on one of my favorite albums, which is downloaded, so it shouldn't be a problem. And it's skipping. And I'm just so frustrated. Because it's, I've had this once upon a time magical experience change now. And so I feel like our contract, that trust I had in this company to bring me something magical is no longer being fulfilled. So can you talk about the importance of trust?


Seth Godin  11:29 

Yeah, trust is precious, I, the technical person in me wants to fix your your iPod for you. Because I don't think Apple had it skip, so they could make a profit. That's just my take on it from far away. But Apple is the most valuable company in the history of the world. They're not the most valuable company in the history of the world because they're making new trust. They have achieved their goal by trading in old trust. That it used to be that if Apple said to me, we got a new upgrade, we have a new software, we have a new machine, I bought it immediately. Because the deal Apple and I had was they looked out for me and I looked out for them. I was a beta tester for the original Mac. I'm you know, I met Steve, I was a fanboy through and through. And then along the way, Tim said the job of this company is to make as much money as possible. And so he traded trust for something else. He traded it for short term profit. And the same thing happened with Google. Years ago, the guys at Google gave me a Google t shirt. I was wearing it at the Union Square farmers market in New York City on a Saturday. And someone from across the market, sees it, runs over to me and says, "Do you work at Google? I love Google, Google is my best friend." Because in that moment, Google had earned something really precious, which is trust. I think now, Google is perhaps relied on, Google is seen as a utility, but people don't have the same trust relationship with them is that they used to, because to make a profit, they invented the promo folder. To make a profit, they started snooping around and following us around the web, to make a profit, to make a profit, to make a profit. So the question we have to ask is what's enough? If we're going to make our art, if we're going to be in community, if we're going to contribute? What's enough? Because I'm not saying people shouldn't make a profit? I'm saying the purpose of capitalism is to create culture, not the other way around. *DRUMS*


YOGI MD  13:32 

Okay, shifting to a different idea when it comes to trust. I listened to a recent podcast of yours And you said that you were a difficult student when you were growing up and that you challenged and you ask questions. So based on what I told you, in my experience with schooling, which was not... it was one of survival, my particular experience and I don't think I'm alone in that experience. So for someone who might look like me, who might share that type of experience in a schooling system, thinking, I simply have to make it and I can't, I can't think of this relationship in a in the, from a lens of trust, what would be your advice?


Seth Godin  14:29 

Well, you made it through all the way through medical school. That's a many many years of school. I got pushed down a grade by the principal publicly shaming me when I was in sixth grade for something that he misinterpreted me saying in class. He wasn't even there. And I just crumbled. I just sat in class in fifth grade, Now my new home in tears all day. I came home aggrieved, sure that my parents were going to get this guy fired because I had been unjustly accused. And they said, You should go work it out. And that caused me to lose my trust in Charles Taylor, the principal of that school, and by extension, lots of things that came afterwards. And I acknowledge that I was a pain in the neck to a lot of teachers. But I was also really aware of where the line was for me and for lots of other people, and I have privilege and I won the birthday lottery. And I showed up, not the victim of white supremacy, for sure. So I can't even imagine what it's like to have to carry that as you walk through a school. But what became clear to me without having words for it is that I was being indoctrinated, and everyone else was being indoctrinated. And we have to make a decision about how do we successfully become a bystander to get through the indoctrination without succumbing to the indoctrination. And if a kid is lucky enough to have supportive parents, it feels to me like what happens from three o'clock in the afternoon to 10 o'clock at night is super important. Because sooner or later, all kids are homeschooled, particularly now during a pandemic. And to say to a 10 year old, there's nothing stopping you from learning how to program or to say to a 12 year old, why aren't you editing Wikipedia today? Or to say to a 14 year old, how are you going to go raise $10,000 for a local nonprofit? These are activities that are apparently reserved for adults. But what's interesting is most adults don't do them because they have been successfully indoctrinated to believe they're not entitled to do them. And the gift my parents gave me, wasn't pushing me to feel privileged at school, because they had my back. It was to believe that I was entitled to take what I could find because that was the only way I was going to be able to make the contribution that they expected me to make.


YOGI MD  17:19 

I love that. Did your parents also talk to you about generosity? You talk a lot about generosity.


Seth Godin  17:26 

Yeah, generosity was both both my parents passed away. My dad was the volunteer head of United Way. He was on the board at a local theater. My mom was the first woman on the board of the art museum. And regularly 30,40 strangers would show up at our house for Thanksgiving dinner. I thought that was normal. I thought everybody was growing up in a house where that's the way things happen. And, you know, when my mom died, they closed the street. So many people came. And I'm just so grateful that they taught me through example, not by lecturing, but by living, because kids are really good at seeing what's going on around them. And that is why systems are so good at indoctrination. Because kids notice. And so we have to figure out how to model and encourage and sometimes demand behavior that like, kids notice something else instead.


YOGI MD  18:34 

I can so relate to that. I feel chills. I have two girls, and my youngest daughter, years later, through the healing process, after I left this career, I thought I would retire doing. She's my emotions child. she's really in touch with her feelings and she told me at one point, and I was really shocked that what I thought was doing a fabulous type A job of doctoring and being the perfect mother and being the perfect wife and doing fulfilling all of my roles. She said that what she saw and experienced was a very stressed out a very short tempered, angry, bitter person. And that just sort of broke my heart, because that's not what I thought I was doing. I thought it was in better control. But now, shifting to contributing with the work that I want to do, where I feel proud, where I feel like I'm making a true difference, now I feel like I truly am modeling this more balanced and truly happy person. And that is the feedback that I'm now receiving from my girls. So you're absolutely, absolutely right about living in a certain way and living our truth so that our children also have permission to do the same thing.


Seth Godin  20:04 

Well, on their behalf, thank you. It's not easy when we're surrounded by expectations, and by prizes and by systems to notice what the story you're telling yourself is doing to you and the people around you. And I don't think there's a lot of absolute, right? Like, if you and I were living 300 years ago, life was way worse. And it's about what we expect. It's about the signals that we pick up. It's about the standards of everything around us, that informs our expectations. And so I'm really glad I can go to the dentist when I have a toothache, right? It's true that hunter gatherers only live, only work two or three hours a day and they got a lot of time to be in community. But at the same time, most of the people who are listening to this podcast can spend a lot of time every day on email and other places in community. But if we are telling ourselves a story, that it's all fraught, that we're on a tight rope, that we're being judged, that we're lesser, then community starts to fade, and our health suffers as a result. *DRUMS*


YOGI MD  21:20 

Empathy. That's a big one.


Seth Godin  21:24 



YOGI MD  21:25 

Do you think you can learn empathy?


Seth Godin  21:28 

Is the only way to get it, isn't it? Babies don't have any empathy. I think the babies are extraordinarily selfish and figure out their when they do a certain thing, they get a certain thing, right. And the first year or two of a kid's life is nothing but a cycle of how do I get that person to do what I need them to do because they're helpless. And over time, we start to discover that if we can put ourselves in someone else's shoes, we have a chance of helping them and thus helping ourselves. And it's that other shoes thing, was a massive shift in the difference between humans and other animals. It's a massive shift in the evolution of culture, which is no sonder the idea that other people also have a noise in their head. There's, there's no reason like, we assume that computers that are evidencing AI have a voice in their head, we just use that language all the time, unplug the computer doesn't know what you're doing. What does no even mean? And, you know, my new book, "The Practice", it's about trusting yourself. And the interesting question about trust yourself is who's doing the trusting and who is the self, there's only one of you, right? That we've got this voice inside our own head that we have to figure out how to have empathy for. And then from that, we learned that there are other people have a voice in their head that we have to have empathy for. So practical empathy, leaving aside all the moral theory is realizing that if you do everything for yourself, you're going to fail. But if you can figure out that other people don't want what you want, don't need what you need, don't see what you see, maybe you have a chance to head toward where they are. Because if you don't, there's not going to be a connection because they're not in any hurry to come to where you are.


YOGI MD  23:25 

Can you talk about picking yourself a little bit more?


Seth Godin  23:30 

Okay, so back to the, you know, there's several parts of indoctrination. In school, one part is clearly the indoctrination of caste and race. Another part is the indoctrination of sex, gender and roles like that. And another part is the indoctrination of the industrial age, which is, you need to get a good grade, so I will process you properly and put you to the next level. And you need to get through all the levels so that you can go to the placement office and get picked to have a job. And once you have a job, you have to do exactly what the boss says. So that 40 years from now you can retire. And that step by step process is brand new. 200 years old. That's it. And we built it deep into everything around us. And then the internet comes along and it says, well, there's not four business magazines, there's 4 million, and there aren't three TV networks, there's a billion, and there aren't seven or nine radio stations, there's 30 million. So if you want a radio station, you can have one. Oh! Nadine has a radio station, right? That you can have a radio station. It's called a podcast, that if you want to lead, you can lead. And yet the vast majority of people on Twitter, never tweet, they just retweet. And yet, the vast majority of people who started a blog, only 80 million, didn't keep it up, because it runs so deep to wait to get picked. And I guess the question is, if you got the call from Oprah and she said, I heard about your book, can I publish it? A lot of people would say, sure. But when I say Oprah is not going to call, you can publish your own book, a lot of people have 50 reasons why they can't.


YOGI MD  25:16 

And what is the main thing holding them back fear? Being vulnerable?


Seth Godin  25:21 

It's the fear of being seen because as long as we remain unseen, we never have to confront the fact that we might be a fraud, we never have to confront the fact that not everyone's going to get the joke, and that the wrong critics are going to interact with our work. It's better, we learned in third grade, to not raise your hand, because a kid who raises their hand is the one who gets scolded or sent to the principal's office, etc. Just stay where you are. When I used to give talks in person, they'd say, the person hiring me would take where we live, often Australia, we have this thing called the tall poppy syndrome, which is don't grow too high or you'll get cut off. And what I've discovered is, every place I go has the tall poppy syndrome, and every place calls it their own thing and thinks they're the only ones who have it. Nope, it's this universal ailment of don't speak up too much, or you'll get in trouble. And if you don't speak up, we don't end up with community. And so I'm trying to help people realize, if the speaking up is generous, if the speaking up comes with dignity, then it's our obligation to do it.


YOGI MD  26:35 

You've also talked about and what I'm hearing right now, it reminds me of imposter syndrome, too. That's part of the noise in our heads. It's, it can be thunderous. So, what is your advice about dealing with the very loud imposter syndrome who tries to sabotage our best work?


Seth Godin  26:54 

Always? There's a whole chapter in the new book about this. Imposter syndrome is real and people say how do I get rid of imposter syndrome? How do I get rid of the voice? And they are stunned when I tell them my answer, which I've never heard anybody riff on, which is this. The reason you have imposter syndrome is because you're an imposter. And the reason you're an imposter is you've never done this before. No one's ever done this before. That's what leadership is, that's what art is, doing something that you can't guarantee is going to work. So plumbers don't get imposter syndrome, because they're not leading or making art. But if you are trying to say what about over there, or I'm gonna play a drum solo, or I'm going to ad lib this or I'm going to lead that, you feel like an imposter because you are an imposter. Because you haven't done it yet. And in that moment, the more you fight it, the stronger it gets, because it hasn't really good argument. And the alternative is to say, well, here I go anyway. And that's the process, to realize, feeling like an imposter means you're not a psychopath. It means that you're not a sociopath, it means that you are being honest with yourself about what's in front of you. protect against the downside, seek the smallest viable audience, seek the smallest viable breakthrough and do the work. And, you know, I know that you're music fan. Patricia Barber is one of my heroes. And she plays in Chicago. I can't wait till this pandemic is over so I go hear her again. So only 120 people in the room on Monday nights. I mean, this woman is a giant, and the room only holds 120 people every Monday night. And she goes in there and she plays music that has never been played before and will never be played again. And she told me, this is my living room. And I can perform here, because there's no overhang. It's not going to be on social media. I don't have to deliver it to a record label. I just get to dance with that feeling. And so she doesn't fear imposter syndrome. She's hooked on it. Because she says, I know I could play something in the crowd with love. I did that last week. Let me play something new instead. *DRUMS*


YOGI MD  29:06 

So you touch upon something really important, which is numbers. Because as human beings we do want to connect with other people and we want to be liked, and we want to be accepted. So how do we find the balance with doing our best work and and doing the best work for a small, the smallest viable audience and being okay with not getting thousands of likes or or a lot of what seems superficially to be approval?


Seth Godin  29:39 

Yeah, this is right on the money. So Mark Zuckerberg was going to Harvard and he came up with a plan. And the plan was, here's this website called Facebook and there are people talking about you behind your back. Do you want to see what they're saying? That is Facebook's entire business model in one sentence and the only right answer is No, I don't. I don't want to see what people are saying about me behind my back. Because if I start looking at what people are saying about me behind my back, I have to keep looking. And no longer will I be leading, I will simply be repairing for every critic who has a diametrically opposed opinion what they think of me. Right? And then the second part is they realized Westerners love numbers that are on an axis. And they said, you have 100 friends in quotation marks, because you're not really your friends, but other people have 200 friends, so you're falling behind, or that thing you wrote has 50 likes, but less than you had 100 likes, you're falling behind. It's way easier to motivate people who feel like they're falling behind. And again, you can say no I'm not because I'm not in that parade, I'm, this parade, and I'm not falling behind. So it gets back to this question of what is enough? Is it enough to be a millionaire? Is it enough to be on the Forbes 400? list? Or do you have to be number one on the Forbes four? Is it enough to be an influencer in your circle of 100 people who are making things better in your community? Or do you have to have 1000. And then we get to "Yertle the Turtle" because "Yertle the Turtle" is an even better book than "V is for Vulnerable". If you play the yertle, the turtle game, you will lose.


YOGI MD  31:25 

It's so hard to strike that balance, especially when it's easier or when it's more acceptable to make easily digestible content, or something that doesn't take a lot of thought, like selfies, for some reason, get a lot of a lot of attention. And then I find that if I pour my heart and soul into something, I really work on something and I'm super proud of it, it gets zero to two likes, and I feel like oh, is there something that I'm doing wrong? Am I faulty in some way?


Seth Godin  32:02 

Well, you're not defective. But you are doing something wrong. What you are doing wrong is you haven't chosen the right audience, or the audience you have chosen has said in this moment, in this medium, we would rather not engage with this. So at that point, you have many choice, which is do I do something that the audience needs and wants or do I find myself into audience or do I live with obscurity? All three are totally legitimate options. What's not a legitimate option is I want to do what I want. I want a lot of people to see it. And I want them all to like it. Not allowed.


YOGI MD  32:47 

Because then it's a diluted message, right? It's it's not...


Unknown Speaker  32:51 

Well no, because the first part of, sorry to interrupt, but the first part is, I want to do what I want, right. And so I want to write an opera in the style of Bolivia. And I want no compromises whatsoever in my Bolivian style opera, but I also want it to be a Billboard Top Five hit, can't have both. Sorry, you can't.


YOGI MD  33:14 

So you can't appeal to the masses is what you're saying. Or, or...


Unknown Speaker  33:17 

Or you can if you're willing to say I'm a hack, that my job is to appeal the masses, that's allowed. Right? I mean, Elton John, crafted something with a purpose. And he should be proud of the fact that he knew what the purpose was. And he had more number one hits in the 70s or 80s, than anybody because he did it on purpose. But I don't think Sir Elton would say, if he could have made any music of any kind, regardless of audience reception, that that's what he would have done. I don't think that's what he would have done. And so we got to pick who it's for, and what it's for. And so if I'm on stage, giving a talk, when I talk to the organizers, do you want me to bring new material that I'm not sure is going to work, or do you want me to bring my greatest hits, that the audience is really going to appreciate? Every time they say, bring your greatest hits. So that's not necessarily what I would be doing. If I knew the audience would like anything I did. But it's what I'm doing, because I'm there to serve them what they need, because they haven't heard me do this before. But I also am not foolish enough to believe that the eighth time I tell a story about something that's original work. It's not. I'm playing covers of my best stuff.


YOGI MD  34:38 

But you do your research, though, before you go and speak to an audience to know how to connect to that specific audience. Correct?


Seth Godin  34:47 

Oh, yeah, I spend a lot of time on it. What I'm saying is, there are people I know who have been in the public speaking business who show up and say, I'm just going to tell you about what's on my mind today. And they tell you a public event, you know, current events or whatever's on their mind today. And so you never sure what you're going to get. Because it might be one for the ages just a memorable breakthrough thing. But more likely, it's meh. And so when we, you know, the paradox of Ted, is they say, we want you to bring a speech that's been practiced for hundreds of hours that no one has ever seen before. You can't, you can only do one or the other.


YOGI MD  35:32 

Hmm. Okay. This has been great. I clearly obviously can keep talking to you all day, I do have something that I would like to ask, I'm curious about. I've never tried this before. Do you have anything you want to ask me?


Seth Godin  35:49 

I have so many things I want to ask you. It sounds like in the last eight years, you've really found your footing, that there's a light coming from you, and that you're sharing with other people. Tell me when you first started feeling that. What's the, what's the rhythm or the content, for the right audience that lights you up?


YOGI MD  36:13 

I'm a connections person, this is my second home. In my previous home, in my music room, I used to have a wall that I had specially painted, that said "Connected" behind my drum kit. That's very, very, very important to me. And in the work that I was doing before I really felt like, and I don't have any regrets. It made me the person I am today, really. I had to learn those lessons to be this person and to appreciate the things that I appreciate, and to know what I know about myself now. But what was slowly killing me was the lack of really feeling like I was contributing in a very meaningful way that connected with me on a very deep level. I knew I was making an impression, and I knew that I was doing important work to help save patients. I know I've done that.


Seth Godin  37:10 



YOGI MD  37:10 

But something was missing. And one of the things that was missing for me was when I would get up in the morning, and I would look at myself in the mirror, and I wouldn't feel proud of myself. Ultimately, I felt like I was selling something. I felt like a fraud. Not in a good way. I don't feel that way anymore because I feel like this freedom to actually be myself, to be honest, to be scared, to be imperfect. I wasn't allowed to be imperfect before. Now I feel like I can be imperfect and play. I feel like I can be a creative person. I used to think of myself as very left brained, I had myself in a box I defined that I thought I had to be. And now the box, I have opened the box. I now know that I am a creative person. And I'm taking ownership of that. And I'm taking more chances. And I can see the impact that I'm having, the profound impact in my world, in my community, in my family, in the Wise Women that I serve. When they send me the random email that says I learned this thing about myself in class, or I didn't realize I was capable of doing this thing. Or I had a recent woman who told me something I never thought about. She said most people treat us seniors with kid gloves. And they don't challenge us at all. And so then we start to think we're fragile, and we don't challenge ourselves. She said you don't do that. You challenge us. And I said well, it's because I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself. And so I really feel like I'm becoming, I'm manifesting that connection that I want to to achieve. And then I love Akimboland. I call it Akimboland because it feels like a playground to me. It feels like a playground in the best possible way, in the best possible scenarios because I feel safe on the playground. I feel seen. I feel heard. I feel like I can take chances and I can receive support and just keep becoming a better and better and better version of myself. My world is so much bigger than it was before. And so those are the things that light me up.


Seth Godin  39:51 

That's fantastic.


YOGI MD  39:54 

Seth, the what is your personal definition of what it means to be healthy?


Seth Godin  40:02 

It's certainly not about living forever. Because that would be horrible. I think it's about feeling in and of yourself. It's about being in a mode where, given the tools that are available to you, thanks to chronology, you are able to be the person you'd like to be within those limits. And we've made huge strides in the mechanical implementation of a certain kind of health. What we forgot to do along the way, is help people enjoy the ride. And, you know, I, the way we torture people in the last year of their life makes absolutely no sense to me. And keeping someone alive is different than making them healthy.


YOGI MD  40:54 

Thank you. Thank you for that. I wholeheartedly agree.


Seth Godin  40:58 

Thank you. You have totally made my day and for all the people who are going to start something because of you, I'm saying thank you.


YOGI MD  41:10 

I'm profoundly grateful.


Seth Godin  41:13 

Well, back at you.


YOGI MD  41:18 

And now it's time for the Mindful Minute. Here's a quote by Seth. "Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them." Let's say you've been hesitating to get involved in your community by starting or joining a book club, or a walking club, or just getting more comfortable with ever changing technology to connect with the people in your life. You can make a commitment to start today. Think about starting small. What's the first step you can take? Because small changes add up. Here's a story with which you may be familiar. The Starfish Story. One day, a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy he asked, "What are you doing?" The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die." "Son," the man said, "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish. You can't make a difference." After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling at the man he said, "I made a difference for that one." 


If you like this episode, please share it with a friend. And are you interested in starting or maintaining a yoga practice at home? I teach yoga to Wise Women. I believe in empowering and educating Wise Women to thrive on their terms at every stage of life. Let’s hear what a Wise Woman has to say "You're touching lives. You are much appreciated for that. What you do is more than teach a yoga class." To learn more, connect with me at

Podcast Theme Music is  by Maya Bishop on vocals, Lizzi Kelly on guitar and bass, yours truly on percussion, and produced by Tim Buell.

Thanks for being here! See you next time.