April Rinne has woven a strategy for adapting to change and navigating a world in flux. Find out how to develop a flux mindset and ultimately acquire the 8 superpowers that will improve your relationship with uncertainty and transform the way you live ...
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Srini: April Welcome to the unmistakable creative. Thanks so much for taking the time to join us.
April Rinne: Thank you for having me. I'm delighted to be.
Srini: It is my pleasure to have you here. So I found out about your work by way of your publicist, who told me about your new book, flux, eat superpowers for thriving in constant change.
Srini: And I remember going and reading about your story. And I was thinking to myself, this is an absolute hell. Yes. When I started to dig into it. So I wanted to start by asking you, what is one of the most important things that you learned from one or both of your parents that influenced and shaped who you've become and what you ended up doing with your life?
April Rinne: Oh, what a wonderful kickoff question. Let's dive in. So my parents were both educators and my dad was my rock and my champion and two peas in a pod. We totally got each other. My mom had lots of challenges. It was not easy. So I am going to focus on they both taught me many things about life, but my dad was a cultural geographer, meaning that he studied the migratory patterns of people and plants and animals.
April Rinne: It was pretty cool. I grew up it wasn't, it didn't make a lot of money or anything, but this love of diversity, this love of how people connected with places and built cultures and ideas transported from one way from one place to the other and all of this sense of interconnectedness. And so my dad, one of the things he taught me many things, but one that I hold dear is just the fundamental integrity, equality, dignity of humans, and that every human has an interesting story to tell.
April Rinne: And in particular that the more different someone was from you, whether it was the language they spoke or how they looked or the food, the aid, or whatever, the more different someone was from you that meant the more interesting they were to get to know. And so he would always be like, when I left for school, he'd be like, why would you hang out with people who look like you and talk like you and eat like you?
April Rinne: And he's those are fine. Find people spend time with them. But you know what that is go find them person who's most different from you and get to know them. And that is something just that, not just love of diversity, but a real advocacy of it and a real enthusiasm for it. And that bled directly into everything from my love of travel and globe trotting and exploring to really far-flung ends of the earth, to the career decisions I made to how I seek out to build friendships, community, et cetera, and more broadly how I see the world.
Srini: Yeah, one of the things that we've had happen, I think as a unfortunate byproduct of the internet over the last probably four or five years is just rampant, confirmation bias, where people, read things that confirm their existing beliefs. They surround themselves with people who believe the same things they do, who are just like them.
Srini: And obviously this has led to a great deal of division in society, particularly here in the United States. Why you think that the perspective that your dad gave you is not more prevalent and how do we make that more prevalent in society as a whole?
April Rinne: Oh what's interesting is that you, as a kid, I'm 5, 6, 7 years old and pretty much, this is the Kool-Aid I'm drinking every day, right?
April Rinne: It's over the breakfast table. It's how we spend our free time is, it's this diversity seek out different things in different people. And also that it doesn't have to be halfway around the world that there are many different kinds of people living all around you, every.
April Rinne: So I grew up assuming thinking like this is what all kids are taught. This just happens to me my version, but this is, I thought what I was experiencing was normal or the norm, the mainstream. And then it really was when I got particularly to college where I realized, wow, I was very lucky.
April Rinne: This is not the daily diet of most people. And that to me was a real wake up to start thinking exactly along the lines that you're talking about. So to answer the question, I think there are a few different ways we could look at this one is very much what is the environment in which you're raised?
April Rinne: What are the values that are instilled? What are the things that you're taught are important? And teaching something like every person has fundamental dignity and integrity and different people are super interesting for different reasons, with different life experiences. That's not rocket science to teach.
April Rinne: And that doesn't even require that you yourself have experienced it. That just requires emphasizing and talking about and exploring and being open to these ideas and doing so with either your children or young people or older people do. It's not age specific. It's just that I think when you learn and have that kind of immersion young, it sticks with you.
April Rinne: I didn't know anything different. And I came to realize just how, both valuable, invaluable, if you will. That kind of upbringing is so a piece of it is I don't want to call it just parenting because lots of people can be parents. Lots of people can care about young people. Lots of people can nurture and mentor and all of that.
April Rinne: It's about. What are the choices we make about the conversations we have and the things we prioritize. So there's a piece though that's around that kind of the connective tissue, if you will, that binds us together as individuals, as cultures and what are the values and norms that are ingrained within that.
April Rinne: Having a value that diversity is our strength that can be baked into society or a culture, but it takes, it takes, I don't want to say just effort. It takes a decision to do that. It takes bringing this topic up time. And again, day after day and not just talking about it, going and exploring it, which again you can do in your own neighborhood.
April Rinne: There's not a single place on earth. Certain places are more homogeneous we could say, but there's diversity of life experience everywhere. Somebody who's healthy getting to know the reality of somebody who's had chronic illness, their whole life. That is a very simple, but profound example of seeing diverse.
April Rinne: Young and old different walks of life, different jobs, different, people who have been through hardship and tragedy that all of that is all around us. In any community you go to, it does take some effort to seek it out, but I think it starts with that. Those very basic, like acknowledgements of what really matters and what kinds of conversations do we want to do?
April Rinne: We want to spark and do we want to enable others to be able to participate in and facilitate?
Srini: No. What is the responsibility of political leaders and media creators in transforming this conversation?
April Rinne: If I had the answer to this, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. I would be on, some bus somewhere doing a campaign around exactly this is I think one of the questions of our time. What do well, I think to some degree, Politicians and media, there's a shared responsibility.
April Rinne: It's not unique to one's profession, but then I think there are some responsibilities that, that are unique given the seat you're sitting in, or, the place you're standing in the, and the power that you have. I would like to think that all politicians and all media creators have a responsibility to bring people closer together rather than polarize them further.
April Rinne: I would like to think that we could craft conversations. And again, whether that's a political debate or whether that's an article or an op-ed, we could craft conversations that are designed to help people understand different perspectives and understand one another stories and be able to develop a more common understanding that again, it's the classic.
April Rinne: I may not agree with your. Opinions, but I still can respect you as a person. That's the piece. I feel like we're losing rather than deliberately stoking conversations, debates and or media content that its sole purpose is to divide it's sole purpose is to attack it's sole purpose is to otherize if you will, and then demonize that other.
April Rinne: So at a very basic level, I would say, it's that? I think, yeah, let me pause there and just say that's where we begin. How do we have these conversations? That again, it's well, the footnote, I suppose I would add. And I see this, in my research and my writing and my travels and time living in many different cultures over my life That whole sense of like you, you, on the surface, you don't agree with somebody's story.
April Rinne: You don't agree with their opinion there. And then you label them as a bad person. And I think we're seeing this in the U S as well as it is happening most definitely around the world. There's this notion though that you just make that kind of judgment. And one thing that I find again, and again, is if you actually have the ability, and this is the hard part, it's becoming less frequent, but if you can ha have you have the opportunity to sit down with someone who's very different from you, or who's V whose views are very different from you, and you can hear their story, you can listen to their story and understand what were the breadcrumbs or, peeling back the layer of their onion.
April Rinne: What were the experiences that led them to believe what they do when you can do that and hear someone's story, even if you don't agree with where they landed, it is extraordinarily helpful to seeing. How they believe what they believe. And it becomes much more, it's more, much more humanizing if you will.
April Rinne: And no one, maybe we'll come back to this, but for example, no one is born into this world. No child is born into the world, untrustworthy, not trusting other people. That is something we're taught. When you listen to someone's story about how they learn to mistrust other people, you start to see a bigger piece around.
April Rinne: So why is it so difficult for them to trust certain situations or certain, actors today? It's that trusted? Just one example. It's that kind of thing though. More time being able to listen to one of their stories. And that's where I think in particular media plays a role. Yeah.
Srini: It's funny because I'm smiling because this is, describing a lot of the philosophy behind why I choose the guests.
Srini: I do, that's why you end up. We have had everybody from porn stars to presidential candidates as guests in the show. And I remember talking to a porn star. We titled the episode, de-stigmatizing the adult film industry, because it was so interesting to hear it from somebody, like the reality versus what we think of, because what do we do, we judge somebody from making this choice without understanding their story.
Srini: But when you dissect the story, it's a totally different experience. I remember when my sister listened to episode and she was like, wow, she was really smart. And I'm like, yeah, of course she was, why would she not be smart? Just because she's chosen to be an adult film actress. That's a judgment that we place on somebody based on, social narratives.
April Rinne: Totally. And I think the example of porn films is a really good one. And then you listen to it and there are certain things in life. And here, I won't even put porn films in this category, but there are certain things in life, certain experiences, an example that comes up quite a lot these days, I think is homelessness.
April Rinne: And we are very quick to judge people who are homeless or houseless or to not see them. We can come back to that too. We ignore that's bad and we put it aside and there's this sense. And a refugee is another example. No one wants to be a refugee, no one ops into this, no one wants to be homeless, no one ops into this.
April Rinne: And yet we come up with these stories around something, perhaps that they did wrong, or that being homeless discounts, you went all these other ways and it makes it we're completely glossing over a much, I want to say richer, deeper, but much more profound story that if we understand it, we start to see the individuals who have been through great challenge and hardship.
April Rinne: Not only as some of the strongest people on the planet. And having strengths that we discount or don't see, but having strengths that those of us who do have a house over our head, we lack, we actually, it's a pity that we don't have more of that kind of grit because of what we take for granted.
April Rinne: But you do start to see different professions, different experiences as far more. It goes beyond holistic, but you begin to see again, the value and the intelligence of every human being.
Srini: I've been speaking of the greatest hardships that people experience in life. You probably had one that I think anybody listening to this couldn't even fathom.
Srini: And that was honestly the reason that I wanted to have this conversation. For our listeners, can you get it explained to them what I, what it is I'm referring to.
April Rinne: Yeah, of course it would be my honor to do and I, these days I started of give the copy of I'm about to drop a hand grenade into the conversation, but I actually, I do so very joyfully because it is one of the things that is by far the hardest thing I've ever been through.
April Rinne: But by far the single experience that has shaped who I am and, even I would not have written my book without this happening. So more than 25 years ago I will date myself. When I was in college, I was I was 20 and I was studying overseas, halfway around the world. And I got a phone call right at the end of that year of studies.
April Rinne: But basically both of my parents were killed in a car accident and it happened out of the blue when they died, needless to say my whole life flipped upside down. It wasn't just, how do I rebuild my family, but it was, how do I deal with my grief and anxiety? What do I do about my career?
April Rinne: All of a sudden I've got to be self-sufficient, how do I take care of myself? Like everything just melted. And and even when they died, it was my first experience with death and I jumped into the deep end without a little, without any water wings. But when they died, like I had never been to a funeral, none, my grandparents were living thankfully.
April Rinne: I'd never lost a pet all these different things. So my first funeral was the funeral of both of my parents. And yeah, that changed everything because we can dig into this more, whether it's one's emotional and mental health, whether it's how you think about the future and the decisions you make.
April Rinne: In my case, it led to a very sort of rational, irrational fear that I didn't have long to live either. And that any one of us could be knocked off tomorrow, which candidly is true. But I began to really live that experience almost at a cellular level. And even though I had good health and lots of energy, and I was only 20, I had this very existential sense of the fragility of life, but also the fact that we're all on borrowed time.
April Rinne: And if that's the case, to quote Mary Oliver what are you going to do with your one precious life? And that led me to make very different decisions about what I wanted to do, how I wanted to show up what things mattered, et cetera, et cetera. So maybe we can get more into that if you'd like, but that's the experience.
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Srini: Yeah, there are numerous questions that come from this one thing that I always wonder is why is it. It's a tragedy or major crisis that becomes a catalyst or wake up call for so many people to make drastic changes to their life. So let's start with that.
April Rinne: Yeah. And I'll give, I'm going to jump a little bit ahead straightaway because w a question I get all the time and particularly around, flux and navigating change and really making big shifts in how we think about change, when people are like, does it require a tragedy? Is it only when you've been through something so bad? And in my case, it was, death, but for a lot of people, I think it's really bad illness. It's something that has put your back against the wall and you understand your morbidity. And it's funny because I'm like, no, it absolutely doesn't require going through tragedy.
April Rinne: It's actually a lot more fun if you don't, but. It requires stretching beyond your comfort zone, even when you don't have to. And that's the part that makes people really I don't wanna say trip up, but it's Ooh, but if it's good, if things are good, why would I do that? And it's then yeah, you're never going to get to where you want to be because you're going to stick to what safe and familiar tragedy or real hardship or challenge.
April Rinne: That's what it does to you. It knocks you out of the nest with no choice. It puts your back against the wall and makes you address these things that otherwise we just don't want to have to go there, want to coast kinda want to just let life play out. So I always like to bring it, remind people of that tragedy is not, it's not a dating factor, but it can be a huge catalyst because that's what it does.
April Rinne: It really makes you. Wake up and say, this is for real. And so much of this, again, maybe we can come back to this if you want. There's just this existential nature, of what we're talking about. And that sense of any hardship makes you realize, holy crap, I don't have that long in life.
April Rinne: What am I going to make of my time? And I think that's, time being fundamentally the most finite asset we have that, that really has an impact on people. I will also say bit of a side note, but the way I like to characterize what I went through is that I experienced the equivalent of a midlife crisis when I was doing.
April Rinne: Because the questions that I was asking then now many years later, when I see people going through some, some variation of a midlife or a, third life, quarter life, I don't know, but like people struggling at some point later in their careers, in particular, they're asking the same kinds of questions.
April Rinne: And so it's interesting because as much as I don't wish tragedy on anybody and sure. There's a piece of me that wishes that my parents hadn't died. And of course I miss them, but missing them, won't bring them back. I continue to have this sense of gratitude for having that kind of crisis that young, because it gave me that much more future that I could do things different.
Srini: Yeah. So this is one of the things that I've always thought about it, like I can listen to a story of likers. I can read your book, but I don't think that I will ever understand something like this until I've experienced it. And we had Frank Ostaseski from the Zen hospice project here as a guest.
Srini: And I told him that my greatest fear in life was not being alone, but it was that my parents wouldn't be around. Do you see milestone moments? Getting married or having kids, especially now that I'm 43 and this is what he said to me, take a, listen, you spent all this
April Rinne: time imagining we're going to get ready for our dying.
April Rinne: And I think it's a kind of absurd idea to imagine that at the time of our dying, we will have the strength of body, the emotional stability, the mental clarity to do the work of a lifetime. It's an absurd gamble. So we should do this work now.
Srini: And that includes those
April Rinne: of us who are not dying, who are with our L our aging parents, for example, be with them for now.
April Rinne: Tell them, you love them now waiting
April Rinne: full of expectation pleading for the next moment to arrive. We missed this one waiting for the moment of dying. We miss all the moments in between. So that's the great thing, whole death out there as a shine, shine, a light on it. So to speak and hold it out. There is a way of reminding you to
Srini: attend to what most matters.
April Rinne: Oh my goodness.
Srini: And I knew that I wanted to bring that clip into this conversation because, I wonder, having lost your parents, you mentioned that you were married. W how does that transform the experiences of these like huge moments in your life? Like getting married, like the ones that you probably never imagined your parents wouldn't be around to see?
April Rinne: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Like my, so right now, just listening to that, my heart is just theming. It's like bursting out of my rib cage because it's so brilliant. So spot on. And so how I feel. About everyone. You're not just my own experience, but everyone to be listening and absorbing what we just heard, just like spot on.
April Rinne: So it's interesting question because when it comes to relationships and things, I can definitely tell you here, I'm able to, I'm speaking with you, many years later in the immediate aftermath of losing my parents. Oh yeah. It was basically, it was like, everything felt pretty doomed.
April Rinne: Everything that I thought my parents might participate gone. It was not easy, but there's a parallel process that starts to go on. At least it did for me, which was okay, my parents aren't here, but like humanity didn't disappear. Other people didn't disappear. Who care about me. I need to rebuild my family.
April Rinne: And so it wasn't, it was no longer my biological family. But what I like to say is in the years since none of this was official adoption, hypothetically in the heart I have now effectively three sets of adopted parents. One in particular that I, that's where I'm expected to spend holidays from time to time now that I'm married and so forth.
April Rinne: But like I had other families step in and say, we have our eye on you now. Would any of them ever replaced my mom and dad? No. Did any of them ever try to, absolutely not. They had the utmost respect for what I had, that you only have your mom and dad, if that's how you grew up. But over the years I have built actually a much bigger family of choice than I would have had my parents lived.
April Rinne: Now, I'm not saying better or worse, I'm just saying it's different, but was I able to get to the point where I felt like I was part of a family again? Now at the same time, I will tell you that for many years, I would say a solid decade throughout my twenties, it related to this rational yet irrational belief that I didn't have long to live.
April Rinne: It extended to, and this was quite problematic, but it extended to this rational, irrational belief that the more I loved someone else, the more likely they were going to die tomorrow. So needless to say, I was a disaster for dating. I was toxic, right? You would not have wanted to date me, but also I didn't want to date anybody because I was afraid of being hurt again.
April Rinne: And so all of these paths or all of these evolutions are running in parallel, what is my relationship to myself? And this speaks directly to what we just heard. And I don't want to sound too morbid here, but I will tell you that for a long time, since my twenties. Sure. I have walked myself through my own, not my own death.
April Rinne: I don't know how I'm going to die and I hope to live to be triple digits, but I have walked myself to the edge of that cliff and been like, all okay. So now let's go make the most of today. I have walked myself through my husband is he's going to die at some point. We joke sometimes about who's going to go first, but that does not need to, that's neither here nor there.
April Rinne: I know when, if I were to get the news that my husband had passed away, I can tell you what I would do or, and maybe I don't, maybe I do. Maybe I don't do that, but I have this sense of what would I do to hold and support myself so that I know I will be fine when that happens. I will be sad, but I will be fine.
April Rinne: And what's interesting to me is most people are too afraid of doing that work. So they fear the death, but it's the walking through the fire and then. You don't get sad about it per se. There'll be sad when it happens. You don't fear it so much. You just realize, yeah, I'm going to have to walk through that fire, but I have done everything I possibly can to be ready for that moment, which, which gives me the freedom, if you will emotionally to go and live my life fully today.
April Rinne: So there are though these different paths. So the one was my relationship with myself and could I love myself? Could I care for myself? Could I see myself still as me, despite all of the loss and the challenges that were just, ripping me every which direction each day, then there was the, the path or the journey, my relationship with other people, both, like a dating or a marriage kind of relationship, but then more broadly, what is family mean?
April Rinne: And then the concentric circle beyond that is who am I? What is my role in society at large? And what's interesting as you realize that we all have biological families. A lot of people don't, they're not, they don't grow up with a family unit or their biological parents or parents split or are lost or in a family strife all the rest.
April Rinne: There's all kinds of stuff that, that sense of family doesn't exist for a lot of people. And yet we're all still part of this thing called humanity. We all still have a relationship with the broader whole, and if you can find a sense of home and being within that, even if it's not necessarily your biological mother and father, you can still feel that sense of purpose and connection and relationship wise, you can still throw out.
Srini: Yeah. Wow. Let's get into the book. Finally. You open the book by saying we're living in a world of influx. The workplace is in flux. Climate is in flux. Organizations are in flux. Careers are in flux. Education. Learning in schools are in flux. Public health is in flux. Planetary health is in flux.
Srini: Social cohesion is in flux, financial markets, weather, family, life, democracy, dreams, and expectations. And you say in a world in flux, we must learn to be comfortable with the reality that around the next corner is more change much of which is unexpected beyond our power to choose or both. It's about a shift from struggling with such change to harnessing and developing an eagerness to use it well.
Srini: And. I know that you have what you call the eight superpowers for thriving in constant change, because it's true. We're basically in a state of constant change. And I think that, you talk about the fact that certainty is an illusion. I realized this, I think by the time I was 30, that everything that I had ever planned for my life wasn't going to happen.
Srini: But you open with the very first super power, which is to run slower. And it's ironic, in sort of rapid change. You say, when we run to learn slower, the outcomes are better across to health, a stronger connection with our emotions and intuition, the board, wiser decisions, less stress, greater resilience, improved presence, focus, and clarity of purpose.
Srini: Paradoxically slowing down actually gives us more time, which leads to less anxiety slowing down, enhances our productivity in ways that matter. And since burnout to the dustbin, in reality, there are many kinds of growth that can come only with rest. It's an odd contrast of this world and that is changing at such a rapid pace.
Srini: And yet the key to thriving in it is to run slower. How do you convince people of that? When, people like me are basically writing articles about optimizing for productivity instead of presence, which I know you talked about medium, as a website, literally every day filled with like productivity hacks galore, and the biggest complaint that people have is, oh, I don't have enough time to do all this stuff.
April Rinne: Yup. So I'm just sitting here grinning. Yes. I love digging into this sort of thing and how it, not that it rubs people the wrong way, but it's so contrary to. So counter it. So if it's contrary to what a lot of what we're taught, it's counterintuitive, and yet it is far more fit for a world in a future in flux, but I want to go back and I apologize.
April Rinne: I have a couple things I want to fill in here real quick. One is, that list of X, Y and Zed is in flux, right? Believe it or not, I didn't even write this about the pandemic. It's quite funny when you're like, okay, I have to put that out there of I've been writing the book since 2018, really as, mostly from my futurist lens.
April Rinne: Also, global perspective and so forth. And also with this human experiences lived experience with change, or I'm looking at the future going there is so much that's changing right now, but also there's more of it ahead. And humans are really not well equipped to deal with this kind of constant relentless change.
April Rinne: That was 2018. Then, 20, 20 hit and people are like, oh my God, the world is in flux. My life is in flux. And so there's this kind of incredible. I could not have asked for a better validation or acceleration for some of these ideas, but I want to put that out there so that people know yes, we're all we are.
April Rinne: We can all look at something over the last year and a half, two years, wow, there's really something here, but I want us to keep in mind that there's more of this kind of, I hope there's not another pandemic anytime too soon. And we know there will be, but we don't know when, and hopefully not that bad, but what I want to tease out is that there's more of this kind of uncertainty unknowns.
April Rinne: The only steady state is one of constant change. We are, that is not the world that a lot of us, including myself were raised to believe we're going to live in. So just want to as you listened to this conversation, keep that in mind that this isn't a 20, 20, 20, 21 thing, this is a forever moving forward thing.
April Rinne: And how do we prepare? How do we develop the mindset and the superpowers to thrive in this kind of change? So before we get to the flux super powers, the one other thing that I talk about quite a bit in the book, but it relates, I to tee it up as part of the super powers is this notion of a flux mindset and the flux mindset is an ability to see all change, whether it's, quote unquote good or bad, whether it's expected or unexpected, whether it's something you got to opt into or something you couldn't control, it's the ability to see all of it as an opportunity to learn and to grow and to improve.
April Rinne: But that's, there's a sort of initial step of being able to open this flux mindset, to be able to acknowledge that your relationship to change needs some help. At least it does for a world in flux. And I find that pretty much everybody does in different ways. And then once you have that open, that, that willingness to explore, then you look to, harness that flux mindset to unlock and develop the eight flux super powers.
April Rinne: The first one of which is runs slower. And so each of the eight flex superpowers is actually counterintuitive in some way, rubs you the wrong way. You're kinda like, eh, and I got to say anyone who wants to write product, pieces about productivity hacks and so on and so forth, you are welcomed to do so you write, I have no problem feel free.
April Rinne: The challenge I'm looking at. And again, going back to some of the existential stuff, I have never met anybody on the planet who on their death bed. Says, oh, if only I'd been more productive never. So the running slower is about getting past the, I gotta do everything all the time right now, and being able to slow down enough to be able to see what really matters and then go do that.
April Rinne: And you can be as productive. You'll be productive. It's so much more important to me to be productive about the things that matter than to be productive for its own sake. Having more meetings in a given day does not make you more productive in a life purpose kind of way, unless those meetings are actually worthwhile.
April Rinne: All of this is just so backwards, but here's the piece I want to tee up for us. So it's not just what is changing, so much changing you rattle off the list. I won't don't need to repeat it, but it is also this piece of change, that the way I like to put it is the pace of changes never been as fast as it is today.
April Rinne: And yet it is likely to never again be this low. So you just kinda let that sink in for a minute. And it's exciting and it's terrifying, right? Why it's terrifying is because the narrative that society tells us, I think most people, including myself for most of my life, what was I taught when the pace of change quickens, I'm supposed to run faster and just keep up.
April Rinne: And yet I'm gonna venture to say wrong. If we know already that the pace of changes in. And we know that we're already running as fast as we can. And I think a lot of people would say they're running faster than they want to. They're really, this is exhaustion and burnout and anxiety, but this is also simply not being able to show up fully for other people.
April Rinne: This is not being able to have new, fresh ideas because you're exhausted. This is all of that as well. If we're looking at this going, wait a minute, pace of change is increasing and we're supposed to run faster. So you're telling me you not you, but society is telling us that however fast you're running today, you need, and you should run even faster tomorrow, faster next week, next month, next year, all of this effectively for the rest of your life.
April Rinne: And I look at this both, the futurist in me and the human in me is timeout, hold on. What kind of life is that? It's certainly not the kind of life I wish to live, but even more important, far more important for me and for the book. I don't think it's a reality in which anyone can truly throw.
April Rinne: I don't think it's a reality in which anyone can actually reach their full potential. So when I say run slower, I you'll note, I did not say stop. I did not say Buhl easy. I didn't say any of that. I said run, but do so at a pace that is sustainable for life,
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Srini: Visit my body tutor.com today. Wow. The next superpower is to see what's invisible. And you say that each of us is inspired, by what we see, but in a world of constant change, that principle only gets us so far. How do we move beyond what we can see and find inspiration and what we can't, how do we learn to see differently and make the invisible visible?
Srini: This is all directly tied to writing your new script. The point is these social orientations fundamentally influence how we see, for example, people who live in collectivist societies tend to prioritize the context of a social situation and the big picture when solving problems, they hone in the overarching relationships and interplay of systems beyond any individual's control.
Srini: But then you go on to talk about privilege, which is what struck me the most about this chapter. You said privilege, you said privileged blinds. It limits the perceptions of. In their script for people and it keeps them from seeing the full picture and what's in the wings. Now, what's funny is I had Seth Godin here right after hero with the practice and we were talking about privilege and I told him, he said, I think that one of the things that I've become hyper aware of over the better part of the last year or so was that I had a relatively privileged upbringing.
Srini: My parents, my dad's a college professor, we weren't dirt poor. He'd struggled early in his group, but for the most part, there is no question as to whether I was going to get a college education. Whether I'd always have a roof over my head. And that's the funny thing, like Indian parents, despite what, a pain in the ass, they can be like.
Srini: The one thing we always know is no matter how old you are, that door is always open with food on the table. Seth said this to me and I wanted to share it with you and see what you thought. I was doing
April Rinne: some work with acumen in rural Kenya and the typical small holder farmer. There has half an acre, and I got to be friends with this woman named.
April Rinne: And Lucy has a taxi company, a tree farm and productive field that earns her $3,000 a year, which is enough money to put all her kids to private school. And her next door neighbor would the same land has none of those things because compared to you and I, Lucy has no privilege whatsoever, but the story she tells herself, the story she told me is.
April Rinne: If I can find an opportunity and explore it at low risk, I'm going to do it because I'll find something that will help for me and my kids. And she showed me that under her bed, she keeps a cigar box with 1 million Kenyan shillings in it. She's a millionaire. And when did she become a millionaire? I think she became a millionaire the day.
April Rinne: She decided to try a different kind of seed because everyone else around her was like, we have to use the seed we've always used. And she was like, it's only going to cost me $4 to find out I'm going to give it a try. Yeah.
Srini: With that in mind. Two things, how do we maintain awareness of the fact that many of us have privileged upbringings and, expect, accept reality that not everybody grew up with in the same circumstance, we this, but also keep it from blinding us and, allowing us to capitalize on the opportunities that we have.
April Rinne: So I love this and I love what Seth said because Seth actually. The world that I worked in for more than a decade he described. So Lucy is a microfinance client. I can tell you by her story. Microfinance is small-scale lending and savings products for the economically active poor. I built my career on micro finance and I worked with acumen know their whole team quite well.
April Rinne: In Sub-Saharan Africa, across Latin America, the middle east India, Bangladesh, Pakistan like most places where emerging frontier developing markets. And this is one of the examples I use for see what's invisible. So traditional bank, just picking up on what Seth was saying. Traditional banks would deem Lucy unbankable.
April Rinne: They would not see her because well, now in her case with her million shillings, she would be deemed bankable because she has enough for a savings account, but most of the economically active poor Lucy before, earlier in her career. Unbankable quote, unquote, we're not going to lend to you. You're risky.
April Rinne: And there's an implicit assumption that somehow you've, in a way done something wrong and a poor, no, the economically active poor have done nothing wrong. The challenge they face is that they were born in the wrong place, wrong time, wrong side of the tracks, whatever. And this, and they're in an environment that doesn't have, the kind of economic infrastructure that helps a lot of people thrive.
April Rinne: So I bring this up because it's like spot on. And once you learn to see that invisible quote unquote invisible talent, potential opportunity, you want to invest in it immediately. And so micro finance is basically lending and savings products for people with no collateral who would not be seen by traditional banks.
April Rinne: But what I love is that. Micro finance repayment rates are the best repayment rates you're going to find for any loan, any kind of anywhere in the world, 99 plus percent repayment
Srini: who borrows billions and doesn't pay it back
April Rinne: so exact or a corporate loan, whatever default rates, you name it because you're lending based on character you're lending based.
April Rinne: And also when you don't have a lot of this, I'm going to come back to privilege because it's all over the place here when you don't have that privilege. So to speak, you can be damn sure you're going to repay this loan and you're going to, you're going to use it. You're going to, you see it also, it becomes more than just the finance.
April Rinne: It's one of those things character-based lending is just really smart. And if you do it in the right way is and micro finance, this is maybe a bit of a side note but for those people listening who are interested, micro finance began. The first microloan in a modern sense that was made it's the classic case.
April Rinne: One loan of $27 was made to 10 people. So each person got $2 and 70 cents. This was back in the seventies, but the condition of the loan is if any of you cannot repay your partial portion of the loan. The other nine people are responsible for it. Now this was a group of village women who all of whom were again, very much considered part of the economic lacked of poor, but they made soap.
April Rinne: They made brooms, they made basically, they would use this money to get access to raw materials so they could sidestep the middlemen and actually earn more profit on the very basic goods they were making. And so all of a sudden, what do you have? You have these 10 women who are like, we're going to help one another succeed because when we all pay our loans, we all win.
April Rinne: And none of them were in a position. For example, if they couldn't make their loan, that they would like Dodge town. No, they lived in a village with their families and like all they had was that reputation. So anyway, I bring this back because invisible, this is not just invisible value. This is not just invisible talent.
April Rinne: This is wow, we have designed our financial services to not see the reality of a lot of people. This is insane because when you can learn to see that all of a sudden you're unlocking not just poverty alleviation, you're unlocking micro enterprise, you're unlocking livelihoods. You're unlocking the ability for people to then be able to pay for their kids to go to school, pay, to have a a tap and a toilet in their home.
April Rinne: These are things that we, again, those with privilege take for granted. So coming back to privilege, it's huge. And I do just want to underscore one thing that I've learned Oh, put it out there because I've learned this through interviews and lots of just reflecting and writing and hashing out things is that there are many kinds of privilege and financial privilege is definitely one.
April Rinne: But that tends to be where we head first. I would also argue that being raised in an emotionally stable, loving family yeah. Is a huge privilege that actually, I would say pays even greater dividends than financial security over time. They're all kinds of privilege into each of the access to education is actually access to primary.
April Rinne: Education is privilege access to, university education is privileged beyond its extraordinary. And when you have that kind of privilege, again, this comes from what my dad and my parents taught me the sense of, if you have that kind of privilege, you have a duty and a responsibility to give back and to help those who don't have that privilege to gain it.
April Rinne: Anyway, I just want to tease out like privilege comes in many different flavors and we would all do a little bit better to sit down and write a lot, write a list of the ways in which you have been privileged, even if you may tend to focus on the ways in which you have not been. Yeah.
Srini: So I don't know why this thought occurred to me the other day.
Srini: I'd been writing a lot about the creator economy and the fact that it is ripe with inequality in where, a handful of creators take the majority of funding on crowd funding platforms, a handful of authors sell the majority of books. And maybe you can answer this question for me. Is it possible to take this whole idea of micro finance?
Srini: That we've applied to the economically active poor and apply it to the middle of. With the same kind of dynamic where there's the risk that people will optimize for self-interest over the collectives.
April Rinne: Yeah. I love this. I could talk about this all day, but when I love it, it's funny. It's not micro finance does show up a couple of places in the book, but it's this part of my background, this part of my history.
April Rinne: That's so formed what I do. And yet I don't get to talk about it that often today. So I'm like, this is great. Like we could spend all our time right here. Yes we could, but a couple of different ways to look at this. One is micro finance does exist in the United States, in developed countries around the world, in the F in some form or fashion.
April Rinne: Now it usually shows up as some kind of access to capital with friendly terms, small business loans. It's not the micro, like we think of it but a flavor of it does one of the biggest challenges. And this is actually where I spent a bunch of my time in this space. The more it's, there's a bit of a catch 20 catch 22 sort of the more sophisticated legal and regulatory environment.
April Rinne: We could say sophisticated. We could say complex. We could say, crazy layered with all kinds of rules and regulations, the more layers of rules and regulations you have from a policy perspective, the harder it often is to get microfinance, to take root. So I mentioned that because there are all kinds of opportunities to bring micro finance to the United States, to other income income levels, demographics, et cetera.
April Rinne: The challenge, one of the biggest challenges we face right now is that the rules and regulations in place, won't let it have. Yeah, they also make it look, I kid you not. And this is where the work I did in emerging markets was super interesting. But in a lot of places, micro finance on the surface, despite knowing 99 plus percent repayment rates, micro finance on the surface is deemed illegal because the rules on the books say, you can only lend to people with collateral.
April Rinne: And so to some degree, you understand why that rule might have first been put in place of don't make a loan to somebody. If you can't, if they don't have some way to pay it back, even if it's seizing their property kind of thing. But then you look at it and you go, this rule was not designed for the people we're trying to deliver microfinance to.
April Rinne: And so one of the things I did was in dozens of countries around the world, I helped draft new legislation that actually saw micro finance for what is. That it's not collateral based and that they had special provisions. And we, we did all of that, but in a country, let's go back to Lucy, a country like Kenya at the time, this happened in most emerging economies had one banking law, right?
April Rinne: Just like one law, pretty standard often incorporated from their colonial history, but it worked all right, but it wasn't super sophisticated. And so introducing a micro finance law, you could actually streamline and integrate those laws together. You come to somewhere like the U S and it's oh my God, we have how many thousand laws about finances.
April Rinne: It's so hard to change all of those to get microphone. Like people just, their eyes start glazing over, but it's not to say that it a isn't possible or B wouldn't work really well. So some of the things, even something like the jobs act, which transformed a lot of ways that we think about micro finance, that in and of itself, Was an extraordinary policy innovation, because what it did unlock prior to that, it would be like, if you want to participate, if you want to invest, you can only do.
April Rinne: So if you have, seven figures and above kind of thing, and people were going well, that's not reality. So it did it started, but we need much more in that regard, but is it possible? Totally. Is it going to happen? I'm not sure though. Just to know, mind meld a little bit. I don't know that alone would solve the inequality in the creative economy that you're talking about.
April Rinne: It would definitely expand access to capital in a productive way. No question. But this tension that we have around a few people taking off with the lion's share of. Of the upside. That's going to require, I think, policy and other innovation beyond just the piece we're talking about here.
Srini: Sorry. Say that again. April. I had to connect my power to my headphones.
April Rinne: Oh, sorry that how far? Just the last, that last sentence. That last sentence. Okay. I think that the, excuse me, I think that, so the policy innovation that we're describing here is one piece of. More a bigger puzzle, so to speak additional, to tackle the inequality between a few creatives, making off with the lion share of benefits, that's going to require policy and other kinds of innovation that go beyond simply the example of the form we're talking about here.
Srini: Yeah. Cause I couldn't help, but think if you were to give aspiring creators a thousand dollars would get them a hell of a long way, because compared to when I went to college, when it took a thousand dollars just to build a website, a thousand dollars would get you pretty damn far today, if you use it wisely.
April Rinne: Yes. So something like that. Absolutely. Now that is in here, there's a difference between how would we look at that kind of keep in mind, micro finance loans, they're still loans that carry interest that are repayable, all of that. So there's also, depending on the crowdfunding platform you're using.
April Rinne: Are, anyone is using sometimes that is deemed to be debt. It's usually debt that's forgivable. So you can say, don't expect to be repaid, it could also be equity where you're like, you own this until, some future point in time or you own it forever. But when, there might be a payout at some point.
April Rinne: So it depends on when we talk about a thousand dollars, what would that $1,000 look like? Because if we treated it just like finance, it would be alone that is due and payable. And so we'd want to make sure that we get the terms, that's fair for people, et cetera, et cetera. But then also, there's this this other angle, which is more equity.
April Rinne: We're going to give you a thousand dollars. Do we perhaps own a piece of what you're going to build on the road? Or do we just treat it more practically speaking like a grant, which is doable also, and here just one quick example, it's quite fun, but I'm guessing so acumen Steph talked about them, but there's also the platform Kiva.
April Rinne: If you're familiar with Kiva, so if you go back, I was actually Kivas. I mentioned that I have training as a lawyer and whatnot. I don't practice a lot today, but it's one of the chapters in my book of life. I was actually Kivas general counsel when they were three months old. Wow. And had to figure out if this was, I loved it.
April Rinne: It was so much fun what we had to figure out, but I just want to remind people. So Kiva is a wonderful example and Kiva works in the. But their start was in actually exactly where Seth was in east Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, but they now work in every country, I think, except for Iraq and North Korea.
April Rinne: If memory serves like they're lending all over the place. But they're individuals can make loans as small as $25 to entrepreneurs and small farmers, small hurdle farmers, and all that sort of stuff around the world. You are technically when you sign up to make a Kiva loan, you say it's 25 bucks and it should have a term of two to three years or whatever the, whatever you choose to opt into.
April Rinne: But when that loan comes due, think about it. You've lent 25 bucks to a farmer in Uganda. They're like, okay, you get your $25 back. Of course, you're thinking, no, I want to invest this in another farmer. Keep the money keep the money going. So what's fascinating is something like 89% of Kiva borrowers.
April Rinne: When they make that quote investment, they never expect to see the money back. They just want to keep helping entrepreneurs. So it's that kind of mentality that we want to bring to greater swaths of society as well, which is I want my income. Yes, it's an investment, but I want it to be actively working for others at all times.
Srini: So in the interest of time there's two, I think, three other areas that I want to cover. Let's talk about this idea of getting lost because you say, if you never get lost, you never actually find your way and your new script can never fully shine. When we optimize for efficiency, getting lost as the ultimate defense efficiency inefficiency, but not only that in the process, we snap creativity out of the picture and send the misguided signal that the path ahead is clear in reality it's anything but clear.
Srini: Indeed. If the goal is truly innovative solutions or fresh thinking, or simply. Resilient then getting lost as essential. And I think that struck me it's really a new roommate move in, who was a young kid compared to be like, he's, I think he's 20. He's about to turn 27. And I remember right when I told my dad, I was like, this kid was in diapers when I was in college.
Srini: And my dad says he's not still in diapers, so I'm sure he'll be fine. But it was funny to listen to him, telling us the other, he's man, I'm turning 27. I don't have my life figured out. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. And I just couldn't help, but laugh because Sarah is 43 years old and I was like, yeah, this is a conversation I have with myself every day.
April Rinne: Yeah, totally. And it's interesting. I'm reminded as we're talking about getting home. That even though the eight flex superpowers they're all, self-standing independent. You can practice them on their own. They do really. They start to bleed into one another as well. Where as you learn one, you start looking at another one going oh yeah, that makes more sense.
April Rinne: I see. And when you bring up the story of the young person so much of our script is caught up. I'm guessing the 27 year old friend, there's a sense of I'm supposed to run faster to post, to keep up post, to be on this hamster wheel or this treadmill or whatever. And I'm supposed to focus in, stay on the path and don't get lost.
April Rinne: And also, and I'm not going to say this about him, but one of the things I'm finding consistently among younger people is this sense, this very deep sense that even by the time, if they go to university, by the time they go to university. So in their teen years, they've already. Adopted and absorbed this sense that they're never going to do or have, or earn or most importantly be enough.
April Rinne: Yeah. And that's another super part, you're enough. Maybe we'll go there, but like all of this is wrapped up into the same kind of hornet's nest, because all of it is actually very untrue and yet it's making, and yet it's what we've absorbed and it's making us mostly miserable. So this whole notion of I haven't figured it all out.
April Rinne: It's let's get clear. Like the whole life journey is exactly that it's a journey and you're going to be learning about it all your whole life. And just when you think you've quote unquote, figured it out, something else is going to change in your life or in the world. And you're going to be like, I have some more learning to do, and that's not like a big, tragic change necessarily.
April Rinne: It could be something really good where I, it happens often where go back and think about it. I'm guessing you fall into this category. I certainly do go back to what you thought mattered most when you were 20 and then what you thought mattered most at 25 and at 30 and at 35. And you go out and you go, my gosh, if I had actually stuck to, this is absolutely most important at age 20.
April Rinne: And then gotten upset that it didn't work out that way. You're like, thank goodness. It didn't work out that way. So I feel like we get caught in a lot of those kinds of conversations with ourselves that aren't really that helpful and that getting lost is a natural part of learning to get to know yourself better, but also being able to show up more fully for what you were actually meant to do.
April Rinne: Knowing that what you're supposed to do is also going to continue to change and evolve over time, just as you do as a human being.
Srini: Yeah. It's funny because I remember the joke I always said was, I thought I'd have an office where I wore a suit every day. I didn't think that the suit, I would wear the most in my life as a wetsuit.
April Rinne: Yeah. Nice. That's good. But it all caught up so much of this professional stuff is caught up in that. Yeah. Yeah.
Srini: All right. So let's talk about this whole idea of knowing you're enough. One of the things that you say is in today's consumer driven world, we're plagued by a stubborn script that were creams proclaims.
Srini: Maura's better and tots you for never doing earning or achieving enough. This script is old and crusty, but remains very much alive among its pop par popular manifestations is that you'll never have enough. So I had a financial advisor here as a guest who had worked with billionaires. And we were talking about this concept of enough, and this is what she had.
April Rinne: What if, instead of always looking for more, which is part of the American dream, you can fill in the blank, whether it's more money, more fame, more status, Morehouse, more car. We focused on optimizing our own definition of enough. And I think the a that could have such a huge impact on the planet, just from a variety of different global climate changes use if we weren't consuming as much, but more importantly, I think it would have a huge impact on our happiness.
April Rinne: Can I pause real quick here? Is that Monisha? Who's a dear friend and lived down the street. Anyway, that's funny. I did not know that. No, I'm like, that is her voice and she's indeed. I don't know if that, if yeah, there you go. And yeah, we do yoga together.
Srini: That's good of serendipitous.
Srini: That, that was the stripped out because I, normally I don't pull clips from other episodes, but with your book, I had so many points of reference that I wanted to bring back. So the thing that I wonder is we live in this world where we're being fed messages constantly from the world around us, about more what do we do on social media?
Srini: We see the highlight reels of everybody's lives, remember you and I were talking before we officially recorded about, me getting stressed out all the authors, who've sold more books than I have. When you're drowning in this, sea of narratives about more, how would you.
Srini: Develop your own definition of enough and not be, let us stray by other people's yardsticks.
April Rinne: Yeah. So I love this because there is actually an exercise that I encourage people to do. It's very basic, it's easy to undertake. I wouldn't necessarily say that people, it makes people struggle a little bit in a good way.
April Rinne: And it's just this notion of what is your enoughness? And have you ever thought what things in life do you have too much of? What things do you have too little of, and again, no judgment and it's not about better or worse. It's just like an and here to the point. I love how Manisha teed it up because I'm always like, it's not just more money.
April Rinne: It's more power, more, love, more likes, more followers, more clothes, more clicks, like more everything, right? When you have too much of what do you have to learn love, I tend to find, and this is very much a us centric view. Here, but I can extend it. We can talk about what it means globally. A lot of people I think are over-indexed on stuff.
April Rinne: We have a lot too much, but we're, under-indexed more broadly on, I could call it humanity, but we're, under-indexed on things like respect, including self-respect self-love trust time for sure. All those sorts of things. And so you look at this and you go, why have we over-indexed in the ways we have and why are we so lacking in these other ways?
April Rinne: Because having knowing you're enough is both not too much, but also not too little. And so that balance point between abundance and scarcity. And I think so both economics and psychology are at play and one layer that. Can easily add in here is just the role of consumerism, right? And the fact that we live in a hyper consumer society today and consumerism itself, isn't I don't want to say it's bad.
April Rinne: Do keep in mind though that the original definition of the word to consume means to destroy. So for most of human history, consumption was not something you actively sought out. It was something that killed you. Nevertheless, today we are in this hyper consumer society. And one of the goals of consumerism is to get us to buy more stuff.
April Rinne: How do you get that to happen? You convince people that they are not enough, and that the way they become enough is to buy your product or service. And so that when we are bombarded with a good Gillian messages from consumer companies saying, and again, A lot of it is very nuanced. It's very subtle, but you look at a lot of the marketing and if you see something that's I will be happy when I will be successful.
April Rinne: When that when implies that you're not happy or successful today, and that you need more of something to become it, versus being able to actually say, hold on. If you were to just tune all that out for a minute, if you know you're enough, you actually realize that you are happy, can be happy if you choose to be right here right now, there is nothing keeping anybody.
April Rinne: And what's interesting. It's less of a happiness versus sadness. It's more of an inner contentedness and a kind of inner peace. If you will. That comes from recognizing that you are enough. So knowing you're enough while you are includes, knowing that you are. Just as you are without ever doing anything more and oh, by the way, you always have been that's the key because then people go, oh my God, why have I gotten myself into this sort of twisted into this pretzel thinking I will never have enough be enough, whatever you already are.
Srini: Wow. I want to finish by talking about two areas in particular that you brought up the first was, portfolio careers. You say their portfolio career takes inspiration from these different stages. Portfolios can be sequential, one role or vacation at a time, or simultaneous multiple roles and activities at once.
Srini: Career portfolios often create professional niches and lifestyles that are more complete, personalized, modern, adaptable, and personally rewarding than any single role could be. And then you go on to describe the linear path, which is what we've been prescribed by society for ever. And you say along this linear path, individuals become defined by what they do.
Srini: Your sense of self-worth got wrapped up in what rung of the ladder you occupy. And, it's funny because 20 years ago when I was in college, that was absolutely true. And I remember going to a job interview as the guy who has been fired from every job I've ever had. Then this woman told me she looked at my resume and she said, this was literally before I graduated from college.
Srini: She said, you've had more jobs in college than you have in my, than I have in my entire professional career. 10, whenever, some, somewhere else, years later I was talking to Robert Green about the book mastery. And I remember looking at Robert Greene's background and seeing he had something like 37 different jobs before he wrote any of his books.
Srini: And the one thing that always stayed with me from that conversation was he said, no experience of in your life should be thought of as wasted. And so what I wonder is how do you redesign an education system to accommodate for this, which I realized we could do a whole episode about that, which we might have to,
April Rinne: we could, and I would be delighted to, and how portfolio careers, career portfolios, people like both of those kinds of.
April Rinne: Orderings. Oh my goodness. This bleeds directly not into the, not into only the future of work and professional identity and career development, but also into the future of learning and education. And, it's a continuum because the narrative, the script that we have right now for many people, again, including sounds like what you and I were taught.
April Rinne: But not the reality of today is this whole linear sense of study work, retire, study hard, get good grades, go to university. If you can track into a good job, do you set job for a very long time, climb a ladder retire? That's it. And that is a narrative that a is not working any longer for many people.
April Rinne: Hello, great resignation and far beyond. But also it's a narrative that a lot of people are saying, that's not where fulfillment and meaning. And again, this whole notion of what are you going to do with your one precious life? We're saying that's not it. So all of these forces are colliding together.
April Rinne: Now I can tell you that there are, I love how much traction this superpower, this concept is getting, including how many educators want this change to happen. So there's a hunger to rethink, and it's not, we can talk about, we can go down many different rabbit holes, I think. What does it mean for curriculum?
April Rinne: What does it mean for credentialing? What does it mean for career services? That's where I've had a lot of work recently where even though colleges, for example, and educators in general will acknowledge that the future of work, what they're trying to prepare students to track into. It looks nothing like it did a generation ago, but as we also know, just talk to any teenager or 20 something, say, who do you ask for advice about your career?
April Rinne: Not the parents and the parents. I have no idea. Like I've actually long ago lost count of how many parents had approached me saying, oh my God, you're exactly right. But I don't know what to tell my kids, because the reality that I have is just completely different. So back to the education piece though, fascinating.
April Rinne: And I don't know which for me, the lowest hanging fruit right now within education is for higher education. At least it is the whole role of career services because they're the ones, they're the kind of landing spot you graduate from college. And then, okay, what do you do to prepare? So career services, they totally get that things are changing and yet what are they still doing?
April Rinne: They are recruiting employers to hire students on campus or whatever. It's very traditional. And so right there you start saying do you have any offerings for someone to help develop their career portfolio? Do you have any offerings for students to actually go through the process of what it would be like to start throwing venture?
April Rinne: Do you have. No. So that right there, what you are, I was happy to learn. I've been researching the space for, it feels like forever, but for more than a decade. And it was super interesting to see that there are more, it's still rare, but it's happening where career services centers are actually rebranding themselves as life design centers.
April Rinne: That's interesting. If you can actually start doing that when you're in your teenage years or, before you've entered the quote real world or job market or whatever, super, super helpful, but then more broadly what it means for curriculum and all of that is, is probably another conversation. But it's cool because I just want to tease out.
April Rinne: Obviously there are benefits for individuals. I'm looking at this from the perspective of, future of work, where it's full of uncertainty. It's hard to know what to do. It's hard to trust that things are going to work out again, 37 jobs love that is going to be more the norm moving forward, but we're still in this environment in which it's just hard to know what's going to happen.
April Rinne: And so for all of the things that you can't control around that future of work, taking ownership of your portfolio is one that you can. And so I always like to remind people, whoever you are, whatever age, however much you've worked or not, jobs are not salaries. Titles are not everyone on the planet has a portfolio already.
April Rinne: You may just not have realized it. And secondly, unlike a job, which I always have to break it to people, if someone else gave you a job, even if you love your job, even if you're good at it, even if you'd like to do it forever, if someone else gave you a job, that job can be taken away. And in contrast a portfolio, yes, you'll need to adapt.
April Rinne: And the whole point of a portfolio is to grow and evolve it over time. No one can ever take your portfolio from you. It is yours, you're responsible for it, but it is yours. And it allows you to craft a professional identity that speaks to you.
Srini: Wow. So maybe my suggestion to the Pepperdine Dean, that they should fire the career services.
Srini: Employees divide their salaries by the number of students in issue. All of us, a refund probably wasn't, so stupid after all, although it didn't win me any pants with the career
April Rinne: office, they should have invested that money in helping all of you develop your for. Yeah, absolutely. So just to reinvestment,
Srini: let's finish by talking about this whole idea of letting go of the future.
Srini: You say the future is only a concept. We can never truly know what it will be. True. History is an amazing teacher yet. Today's changes, include factors that are new to the human experience for the most part surprise. And unknowability, don't fill up in today's models. And I wanted to pick that quote in particular because our previous roommate who just moved out is incredibly future-oriented.
Srini: He doesn't like looking at the past because it's painful, but he lives constantly in the. And I always, as a surfer, my, my metaphor for this is that, when you're surfing, you live in the moment, but keep your eyes on the horizon. But how do you think about this? Like how do you get people to let go of a future?
Srini: Because the thing that there's one other quote that really always came back to me and it was we're talking with Terry Cole who was wrote a book on boundaries. And I was asking her about love and relationships. I was like, yeah, I'm not married. W which much to the dismay of my Indian mother.
Srini: And she said, when I let go of the way that I thought it was supposed to be, I was able to open myself self up to all the ways that it could be.
April Rinne: Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly it. And so very deliberately I phrased this as let go of the future as in there is one singular future that we can control and predict and engineer, and, oh, Hey, by the way, I need that future to go my way this way.
April Rinne: And if it doesn't. Bad, and for some people, and if it doesn't work out that way, I'm going to unravel or I'm going to be really anxious or whatever. And so it is this need and people ask me all the time, they're like, you're a futurist. You can't say, let go of the future. Like you're not allowed.
April Rinne: I'm going to like, hold on, let me explain. I could have made it a little bit longer and said, we need to let go of the obsession we have with predicting and controlling again, the future. And rather we need to open ourselves up to many different possible futures. So exactly this letting go so that we are letting go of what we really needed to go this way in order to actually create space and breathe oxygen into all the different possible futures that could happen.
April Rinne: Because right now, nobody on the. Can predict or control the future. We can only control whether and how we contribute to a future that we'd like to see. We have no guarantee of the outcome, but so many people are twisted up just making themselves so uncomfortable and putting themselves under so much stress because the future has to go this way.
April Rinne: And if it doesn't, oh my God, all hell is going to break loose or whatever, or I'm just going to be unhappy. And yet the fact is a zillion, different futures are possible to play out today. And, we think about futures just holistically. And so it's the shift from needing to predict, to being able to prepare it's the ability to let go.
April Rinne: And so I always have to tell people, I am not talking about giving up. I am not talking about failure, and I'm also not talking about not having goals or not striving or having dreams for the future. Absolutely strive and set goals and have big plans. And all of that, I love a friend of mine put it beautifully because he was really struggling with this.
April Rinne: He's but my whole persona, like I like to really predict the future. He's I like to know what's going to happen or think I'm going to know what's going to happen. And he said, I get it. You're not saying don't strive. You're saying, get out of strivings shadow. And I love the way he put that because it's this get excited.
April Rinne: Do as much as you can to invest in the kind of future you'd like to see, but you have to let go that one future as you would like for it to be, is going to be the future because the chances are very good. It's not, and. Save yourself from all of that kind of like wrestling with it and instead cast out many different possible futures and then do what you can to prepare for all of them in a way that actually uplifts you and brings futures that are better than you could possibly imagine into the fore as well.
April Rinne: And just a side note here, it's quite funny because what I'm describing here, this will imagine many different possible futures. It's in the world of futurism. It's known as scenario mapping or scenario planning, and it's a tool that's quite commonly used by futurists. But what I realized is that without knowing the term or knowing even what futurism was right in the kind of coming full circle in the immediate aftermath of my parents' deaths I found myself doing this exercise every single day, which was holy crap.
April Rinne: I have no idea what my what's going to happen to my life on any metric, right. The whole. The earth beneath me had shifted and had fallen away and I was just trying to catch myself. So I was like, I have no idea what's going to happen. What do I do? And I was like I think, imagine all the different things that could happen.
April Rinne: And to your point screening, this is funny. I was like, maybe I'll get married. Maybe I won't, maybe I'll have kids. Maybe I won't, but you all live in the United States. Maybe I'll live somewhere overseas. Maybe I'll like, mapping out everything under the sun. And I thought, if I can just get myself to each of these scenarios, to a place where I can see myself, I can see myself surviving and maybe even being happy in that scenario, then I'm going to be fine.
April Rinne: And it was this daily exercise of walking myself through all of these very different things could happen. But in each case I would be okay, that what I realized at the end, it made me feel like, wow, all these different things could happen. Let's go, let's lean into life, which was very different.
April Rinne: I could have taken a different tack after my parents' death and been like, if X doesn't happen, then basically all hell has broken loose. And that didn't happen. And so it's one of those tools. That's again, accessible to anybody and you can do it about your organization and strategy and all that.
April Rinne: You can do it about your life. And so I love that because that's what I'm talking about, letting go of the future in order to allow many different possible, beautiful, amazing futures to emerge.
Srini: Wow. I think that makes a very fitting into a conversation that probably could have lasted five hours.
Srini: So I have one final question for you, which is how we finish all of our interviews on the unmistakable. Creative. What do you think it is that makes somebody or something unmistakable
April Rinne: authenticity? That when you are unmistakable, you're unmistakably you. I think there's this. If you're authentically you, no one can mistake you for somebody else. Nobody can not see you for who you are. So there's some piece about the individuality and authenticity of how you show up in the world.
Srini: Amazing. This has been one of my favorite conversations I probably had in 10 years of doing this. I can't thank you enough for joining, taking the time to join us, to share your story and your wisdom. And you're in touch with listeners. Where can people find out more about you your book, your work, and everything else here.
April Rinne: Thank you so much. It has been a joy. No, I heart. My heart is still like bursting out of my rib cage. It's great. So for all things, flux book, super powers, all of that head to flux mindset.com. For all things, social media, I have not discovered anyone else in the world amazingly with my name.
April Rinne: So April Rennie I'm on all social media. And also my personal website is April reni.com. We did not talk about it today, but the main reason people go to my April renew.com website at the moment is for my handstands. So
Srini: amazing. And for everybody listening, we will wrap the show with that.
April Rinne is a “change navigator,” speaker,
investor, and adventurer whose work and
travels in more than 100 countries have given
her a front-row seat to a world in flux. She is
one of the 50 leading female futurists in the
world, a Harvard Law School graduate, a
Young Global Leader at the World Economic
Forum, and a Fulbright Scholar. April is a
trusted advisor to well-known startups and
companies, financial institutions, nonprofits,
think tanks, and governments worldwide.
Earlier in life she was a global development
executive, an international microfinance
lawyer, and a hiking guide. She spent nearly
four years traveling solo (with a backpack and
a shoestring budget) to better understand
how to help shape a more inclusive, equitable
world. As a certified yoga teacher, she can
often be found upside-down, doing
handstands around the world.