How to Practice Self-Leadership, Navigating Difficult Conversations | Coach George Raveling on The Tim Ferriss Podcast

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Key Takeaways

  • Most people are good at having serious conversations, especially when it’s about race
    • “Real conversations challenge us…difficult conversations make us stand in our own truth and they teach us that we have to be truth-tellers. We have to listen to learn.” – George Raveling
  • “I think some of the most important conversations we can have each day are the conversations we have with ourselves”George Raveling
    • Today, we spend more time talking to a screen than we do face-to-face with ourselves or other human beings
  • “What gives one human being the audacity to think that they have the right to take somebody else’s life?” George Raveling
    • Life is the greatest gift of all; it’s arrogant for anyone to think they have the right to take someone’s life away
  • George keeps a sign in his bathroom that reads: Practice self-leadership and self-discipline
    • “And I don’t think that there’s any more relevant or important time to practice those” – George Raveling
  • George asks every listener to write down the following pledge:
    • “I will fully commit to being a positive change agent, a positive difference-maker, in as many lives as possible”  – George Raveling

Intro

  • Coach George Raveling (@GeorgeRaveling) is an 82-year-old living legend and Nike’s former Director of International Basketball
  • Host: Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

Books Mentioned

Being A Black Man In America

  • As a black man, George fears for his life whenever stopped by a cop
    • He has a “stop strategy” when he gets pulled over: Turn off the car, open the windows, and keeps his hands in the air
  • Most people are good at having serious conversations, especially when it’s about race
    • “Real conversations challenge us…difficult conversations make us stand in our own truth and they teach us that we have to be truth-tellers. We have to listen to learn.” – George Raveling
      • “We are the problem, and we are the solution”
  • “I think some of the most important conversations we can have each day are the conversations we have with ourselves”George Raveling
    • Today, we spend more time talking to a screen than we do face-to-face with ourselves or other human beings
  • “What gives one human being the audacity to think that they have the right to take somebody else’s life?” George Raveling
    • Life is the greatest gift of all; it’s arrogant for anyone to think they have the right to take someone’s life away
      • The world needs to have a discussion on what’s right and wrong
  • George was born in a segregated hospital
    • “Dreaming for a black person in those days was a luxury” – George Raveling
      • “You had no dreams, you had no hopes, it was literally all about surviving from day to day”
  • When he was growing up in Washington, DC, the city was 73% black. Today it’s 45% black.

Thoughts on Civil Rights

  • George collects historically racist paraphernalia because it reminds him of the long road Black Americans traveled to get to where they are today and the long road ahead of them to reaching equality
  • George owns the original copy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech
    • George volunteered as security at the March on Washington and MLK gave him the speech after he finished reading it
  • The civil rights movement isn’t about black vs white lives, it’s about life overall
  • George keeps a sign in his bathroom that reads: Practice self-leadership and self-discipline

Lies & Freedom

  • Americans are living a lie, our money says the “United States of America” but America is far from united
    • “We’re not who we say we are. We’re not united and it’s not about the people.”George Raveling
      • “To me, the system is built to separate us” 
        • It’s not just about race, there are blue states and red states, democrats and republicans, rich and poor, etc.
  • “Our words must be manifested in our behavior. Anything short of that and we’re living a lie” George Raveling
    • Words are great, but action is better
      • “We can make all the statements we want, but the reality is, we have to rise to our higher moral level” 
  • The system is always trying to put other people in boxes, but boxes limit people
    • “Why do I have to operate from a box…If I’m in a box it impedes my ability to reach to my outer limits as a human being”George Raveling
      • People need to have the freedom to explore their limits to discover their life’s purpose
  • “In many ways, in this country, we’re living a lie. We gotta get back to a point where we are who we say we are.We’re either united or not united, it’s either about we the people or it’s not about we the people.”George Raveling
  • “At 82-years old, I finally got my freedom. I’m free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it.” – George Raveling

Life Is Built For The Average

  • “I’m a product of an educational system that was based on telling me what to do and what to think instead of teaching me how to think” George Raveling
  • Life is built for the average person
    • “You go to school, you get an average education. You get an average job. You live in an average neighborhood. You live an average amount of time. And the world is populated with average people.” – George Raveling
      • Live outside the box and explore your outer limits
  • A good question George likes to ask himself to live outside the box: What is it that I don’t know but need to know?
    • “The first sign of intelligence is to admit that you don’t know something” – George Raveling

Additional Notes

  • When someone is angry, George tries to listen and understand the person instead of assuming he knows what the problem is
  • If you want to be relevant in today’s world, you need to develop 21st-century skills
  • It’s going to be up to young people to fix the mistakes made by older generations
  • George asks every listener to write down the following pledge:
    • “I will fully commit to being a positive change agent, a positive difference-maker, in as many lives as possible”  – George Raveling
      • “Just take this pledge and live it”
        • You don’t need money to be kind or help others
  • Corporations need to provide more internship and mentorship opportunities for the younger generation
    • There are a ton of kids in the world that are filled with potential, they just need someone to guide them
  • It’s an enormous challenge to raise a child, and it’s even harder to do it as a single parent
    • Teach your kids the value of persistence and the differences between right and wrong
Tim Ferriss Show : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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