I think we’ve all been there at some point, staring down disruptive, unexpected, and unwanted change and feeling its harsh judgment. Maybe it was the loss of a job, a move, the end of a relationship, or a sudden tragedy that turned your world upside down. We’ve all faced uncertain changes that made us question our abilities and shaken our sense of stability. Those moments of doubt that make us feel lost – disconnected from our purpose, communities, and even ourselves.
But what if we didn’t have to resist change or cling to the past? What if, instead, we could learn to navigate change as a gateway to growth and meaning? An opportunity to discover our inner resilience while strengthening trusted relationships?
My guest today, April Rinne, has spent decades studying how people worldwide relate to the unknown. As an acclaimed global leader, investor, lawyer and author of Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, April provides a blueprint for developing the mindsets and skills to ride the waves of change.
In our conversation, she shares research on reframing change as a tool for self-insight and collective growth, rather than a source of fear. April offers techniques for overcoming barriers that hold us back from belonging – to our full potential and shared humanity.
She also dives deep into how fostering environments of trust allow us to take the risks necessary for possibility and purpose. Rinne provides practical strategies any of us can use to transform uncertainty into what she calls “intelligent change” illuminating the path forward.
If you’ve ever felt lost in the face of change, this conversation will give you hope. Join me in learning how to turn life’s twists and turns into gateways of growth and resilience – starting from within ourselves and radiating outward.
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April Rinne (00:00:00) – The single most important factor to navigating change over time is trust. And what I mean by that is when the unknown hits, the one thing you do not want to have to do is figure it out yourself, navigate change alone. And in order to not navigate change alone, you need trusted relationships in your life. And in order to have trusted relationships, you have to build trust. The way we navigate change well is together.
Jonathan Fields (00:00:27) – So have you ever felt paralyzed in the face of change? Kind of like your world was crumbling around you and you just wanted to grasp the past tighter to regain a sense of control and comfort. I think we’ve all been there at some point, staring down disruptive, unexpected and unwanted change and feeling It’s just harsh judgment. Maybe it was the loss of a job, a move, the end of a relationship, or a sudden tragedy that turned your world upside down. We have all faced uncertain changes that made us question our abilities and shaken our sense of stability. And those moments of doubt can make us feel lost, disconnected from a sense of purpose, community, even ourselves.
Jonathan Fields (00:01:07) – But what if we didn’t have to resist or cling to the past? What if instead we could learn to navigate change as a gateway to growth and meaning as an opportunity to discover our inner resilience while strengthening our deepest and most important relationships? Well, my guest today, April Rennie, has spent decades studying how people worldwide relate to the unknown. As an acclaimed global leader, investor, lawyer and author of Flux Eight Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, April provides a blueprint for really developing the mindsets and skills to ride the waves of change, especially unwanted and unanticipated change. And in our conversation, she shares research on reframing change as a tool for self insight and collective growth rather than a source of fear. And she offers techniques for overcoming barriers that hold us back from belonging to our full potential and shared humanity. She also dives into how fostering environments of trust allow us to really take risks necessary for possibility and purpose. Yes, even in the face of big, scary change. And April provides practical strategies that any of us can use to transform uncertainty into what she calls intelligent change, illuminating the path forward.
Jonathan Fields (00:02:25) – So if you have ever felt lost or resistant in the face of change, this conversation will give you not just hope but also practical skills. So join me in learning how to really turn life’s twists and turns into gateways of growth and resilience, starting from within ourselves and radiate outward. So excited to share this inspiring yet practical conversation with you. I’m Jonathan Fields and this is Good Life Project. I had the good fortune of being able to write a book on uncertainty back in 2011, actually, and it was focused on work as well. But everything traces back to just how we as human beings handle the unknown, which is a general rule, is not good.
April Rinne (00:03:10) – As a general rule, it’s not. But what’s interesting, the lens that I really try to bring to it is very much this global one that we’re all asking the same questions. Your culture affects how you respond. Every culture has a limited toolkit, a limited, limited set of tools, you know, in that. But if you look globally, we’re sitting on a mountain of human wisdom.
April Rinne (00:03:30) – Not that anyone has the answer, but like, that’s what I love of like, so how do you see it? How do I see it? How does this culture see it? How did they see it? You know, and and you mix that up and it actually becomes much more, much more uplifting, much more. I think it just it gives us more more than our own cultural silo from which to respond.
Jonathan Fields (00:03:46) – Yeah, I completely agree with you. You know, it’s interesting because when I think about use the term flux, just really define a state of uncertainty and and that functions on a couple of different levels personal, cultural, societal and also really business. You know, I’ve always believed that uncertainty cannot exist without possibility that the two sides of the same coin and if we’re feeling the effects of ground lessness, if we don’t know how it’s going to end, we don’t know if we’re good enough, we don’t know what’s going on. Part of our work is to say, well, if this cannot exist without possibility, also coexisting, what’s the possibility story and how can we tell that? I’m curious what your take is.
April Rinne (00:04:22) – On that very much aligned. And I would use it’s interesting. We talk about possibility. I often frame it in terms of and my research has borne this out over the last almost 25 years of looking at this from many different lenses and sort of grinding those lenses to refine the perspective. But the way I like to frame it is when it comes to like, what do you do? What do I do when you don’t know what to do? Like when when it just feels over what you just don’t know. And no one really knows that the single factor that matters more than any other. It’s not whether a change is big or small. It’s not whether a change was a surprise or you’d seen it coming for a while that tried to pretend it wasn’t there. Right? We can dig into the different kinds of change, even though it’s one word. It’s it’s actually very messy and rich and complex. But the single factor that matters most is whether we see that change from a place of hope or fear.
April Rinne (00:05:18) – So this hope versus fear and, you know, these are things we often don’t talk about at work. It’s too woo woo. They don’t belong in the meeting room or whatever. But hope and fear is where everything else resides. And to your point, hope is where the possibility is, right? So it’s seeing it through hope. And then when you’re able to do that and they’ve shown, you know, the neurobiology has shown as well that when you see from a place of hope that actually expands your vision, it increases your peripheral vision, it keeps you from feeling like you’re falling down that rabbit hole, whatever. So it has lots of physiological implications as well as obviously psychological and professional and many of the.
Jonathan Fields (00:05:57) – Others as well. Okay. So then the question arises, if so many of us are presented on a really regular basis with opportunities, we’ll call them opportunities to consider change. We may not want them. We may not see them that way. But, you know, there’s uncertainty. There is there’s a shift in the landscape that’s being presented to us.
Jonathan Fields (00:06:15) – If we tend towards either hope or fear. What has been your perception around patterns that you see? Do most people tend more just organically towards hope or more organically towards fear?
April Rinne (00:06:26) – In Great question. And it’s it’s a perfect tee up. A perfect segue to the question I had just referred to, which is like, change is messy and change is not one thing and it’s one word. But I think a lot of people treat it like it’s one thing. And I hear from people pretty much every day who either acknowledged, yes, they have some difficulty with some changes in here. They are. But I hear from a lot of people who are like, I love change. I’m a change junkie. Like change is awesome. And I’m always like, hold on a minute, Like back up. Because you and I and most humans that I’ve met, I don’t wish to speak for you, but like on the whole, most humans, we love changes. We choose changes we opt into. So that could be a new relationship, a new job, a new trip to take a new haircut, a new car.
April Rinne (00:07:13) – Like. Right. We love those changes. And when people tell me love change, they’re like, those are the changes they’re talking about. But find me that human. I’m still looking for them that loves the change that blindsides you and whipsaw you and throws your plans upside down and you didn’t see it coming. That’s the kind of change that we’re really struggling with. And so back to your question, if we think about overlapping these things, we’ve got changes, we control changes we opt into and changes that are just, you know, that we don’t control, that are thrust upon us. Okay? That’s one sort of dynamic. And then the hope versus fear, because what’s interesting is you can look at either of those kinds of change changes we choose. We typically choose because we’re hopeful about them, because we see opportunity. We see possibility, whatever, right? The piece that I’m most interested in is the changes. We don’t choose the changes that are just that are thrown our way. And really that is flux.
April Rinne (00:08:06) – The changes we opt into, that’s all upside, right? I mean, you might make a poor choice about a change, but you’re willing to take that responsibility because you can remember, you know, typically that’s okay. It’s the changes. We don’t choose the changes that blindside us. Can we still feel hopeful about those? Can we still see opportunity in those? And that is a mental muscle we can groove. And that is sort of the essence, if you will, of of a lot of my work to date. So that’s the peace. And can we. Yes, we can. Does it come naturally? No. Is it universally possible? You know, I, I don’t want to put anybody up to too much. It’s not inevitable. But every single person can improve every single day, even if it’s, you know, small and incremental, we can all strengthen these muscles.
Jonathan Fields (00:08:55) – Yeah, that makes so much sense to me. And. But I don’t want to move past what you dropped along the way there, which is, you know, you mentioned the distinction between the changes that we choose and the changes that we don’t, but also woven in, you use the word control and that’s got to be central to this because it immediately reminds me of some of the research that I’ve seen out of the world.
Jonathan Fields (00:09:14) – The positive site where they phrase it as locus of control. You know, when you have a locus of control, a sense that there’s something that I can do that will affect the outcome, it changes the way that you experience is, is is that the way that you’re talking about it?
April Rinne (00:09:28) – Absolutely. Well, very much that’s a that’s a piece of it. And let’s keep in mind as well, the inner versus outer control, right. That a lot of change that’s dealt to us, these are external forces that we don’t control and frankly, we never have controlled. But I think especially prior to 2020, there were a lot of forces at play in the world that a lot of people were led to believe we had some control over. Right. And you see how much can unravel, how quickly in terms of those expectations and that sense of I can control where I go and what I do and and to some degree. Right. But when that what I call Capital C, change hits like the big change that does just throw you sideways.
April Rinne (00:10:06) – What is your inner source of control in there? I would say a lot of it is around agency, but like your inner can you control your emotions, your reactions, your ability to stay even keeled and oriented and rooted and grounded when the world around you is in upheaval. Right. And so there’s again, this interesting toggle between when we talk about control, what if that is external and what of that is internal? And to focus more on the inside out component. What I mean by that is, you know, the inner source of of agency and groundedness and orientation, which then it’s not that it makes you better able to control what happens externally and makes you better able to see the reality of the forces that are at play externally.
Jonathan Fields (00:10:53) – Yeah, that makes so much sense to me. You know, and it’s it also it speaks to more broadly, you zoom the lens out a difference in and again sweeping generalization here but sort of like a difference in the approach to change. When you look at Eastern philosophy versus Western philosophy, the Western is all about controlling the circumstances or the external circumstances.
Jonathan Fields (00:11:12) – Eastern is much more about how do we find activity no matter what the external circumstances are. Let’s what are the practices and the tools that we have there. Knowing full well that we live in a world where we will never be able to control all of the external circumstances? So what will we still be able to actually have some sense of agency over?
April Rinne (00:11:30) – Yeah, well, and I just want to riff on this for a little bit because as you know, a big piece of my work and what’s in the book, but more broadly, I’ve always had an international career and so I’ve always been fascinated by global cultures. And how does one place or one people see not just change, but all kinds of things differently than others and how to sort of cross-pollinate because there’s just so much human wisdom out there. For me, it is an appreciation and a celebration of all the diversity and all the different ways we can live and work and show up for the world. And what you just mentioned, right, is the east versus west, which does have a difference in how we relate to control.
April Rinne (00:12:09) – I would also say and you know, east versus west, there is very much legitimacy to that. If you look historically, I’m going to cast the net broader and say the real difference is between whether it’s an individualist or a collectivist culture. And what’s fascinating is you have individualist cultures in both East and west and collectivist cultures in both the East and the West. And even within one city, you can find different. You know, it depends on where you live and your community and your ethos and to some degree your institutional design and so on and so forth. And that’s been really fascinating because when you dig into so where does our sense of control, but also how do we react to change come about and individual versus collective, A lot of it is that kind of me versus we that when change hits in an individualistic culture. Again. Think we both can. We can make a blanket apology that there is some generalization here. I don’t wish to speak for anyone, but at a certain point it’s like.
April Rinne (00:13:04) – Right, Like. Like broad brush strokes that an individualist cultures when change hits the unwritten, sometimes written but unwritten social script is if each of us takes care of ourselves and responds or reacts to this change, we will be okay. And the collectivist culture is like big change hits. Hold on a minute. Come together. We’ve got to be okay. And if we are okay, then every single one of us, the individual eyes will be okay. And that’s fascinating because as you reach research deeper, people often ask me, like, which is better, right? And I’m always like, there’s there’s no better or worse. These are different. And they all both of these and all cultures have benefits, have strengths and have challenges. Right? But when it comes to change, a lot of it is about what kind of change are you talking about? And even during the pandemic, it was a really good example. But when you looked at our approaches to the pandemic and how are we going to look at this and what are we going to do? There were some strategies, some approaches that such the example I often use is developing a vaccine when you’re trying to develop a vaccine and you want as many ideas as fast as you can.
April Rinne (00:14:16) – In fact, individualist cultures just get a bunch, go, just get out there. And there’s not a lot of we don’t have to pass a lot of thresholds for the invention, for the innovation that was very well tuned for individualist cultures. Frankly, that race to do to develop new ideas. On the flip side masking don’t even need to probably bring this up but like that’s a classic example of where a collectivist culture just ended up being not only better able to implement and have agreement on the need to protect the we, but also, you know, had lower, lower levels of infection. So anyway, it’s interesting when you look at that and you’re like, what kind of change are we looking at and which approach might be most suitable and most feasible and most practicable for this particular time?
Jonathan Fields (00:15:06) – Yeah, I mean, it is really interesting also, and I love the fact that you said it’s not of what like one is better than the other universally all the time thing here because a lot of what I’ve heard is that there’s this almost like there’s a battle going on between individualism and collectivism right now and like, which one is the better one? Which one do we say yes to and which one do we jettison? What you’re saying is no, like it’s context sensitive.
Jonathan Fields (00:15:28) – You know, like they each play a role. There are benefits to each. And let’s look at the scenario and see what’s happening here and figure out what is the most constructive and healthy approach.
April Rinne (00:15:38) – Absolutely. And for so many things, it’s not either or. What I would hope is that if you live in an individualist society, that you develop a sensitivity to the collective good, to the collective. Like I look at it as having their different muscles and we both want to have both muscles be strong. You don’t want to have your left arm strong and your right arm weak. You want both. And it’s kind of like head and heart. It’s like yin and yang. I mean, there’s a lot of these things. You do not want one to overpower the other, otherwise you’re out of balance. And I do feel like the individualist collectivist. Well, it’s loaded with so much other baggage. I think today that goes far beyond the the initial intent of simply what kind of spirit are we showing up with? Right.
April Rinne (00:16:23) – It’s now we can talk about economic models. We can talk about political models. I mean, there’s a lot more at stake now. But understanding when and where and individualist approach is appropriate because it will lead to better collective benefits. And when a collective approach is more beneficial because it’s going to lead to greater individual benefit, it’s like these things toggle together, right? And some of this admittedly requires not a crystal ball, but, you know, not we don’t have perfect information when we’re trying to make these decisions. But raising the self-awareness is raising our the basic knowledge that we’re operating with and how we see these things is something that’s accessible and useful for pretty much everyone right now.
Jonathan Fields (00:17:07) – Yeah, that makes so much sense to me. So when we think about the conversation around uncertainty or using your word flux, the uncertainty that we don’t ask for or invited into our lives, and yet we find ourselves presented with it, which we all do all the time. The other thing that really comes up for me is the role of stakes in how we handle this.
Jonathan Fields (00:17:27) – Because if the stakes are low and we have, we didn’t ask for it and we don’t have any sense of control over it, it’s kind of like, who cares? But when the stakes are high, it’s like all of a sudden, whoa. What’s your take on the role of stakes in how people handle flux?
April Rinne (00:17:42) – Um, such a rich question. Like we could spend our whole time, actually, any of your questions, you could spend our whole time right on those. So when I think about stakes and vested interests and it all comes back a. A lot to control of. Like this is what I own. And again, literally, figuratively, metaphorically like. And the more I feel like I own it, the more I’m going to want to grasp on to it and the less I’m going to want to let it go, the less I’m going to want to see it change, the more I’m going to fear something happening to it. Right? And yet going back to hope and opportunity and possibility and all the rest, we know that when change happens, that’s when growth can occur as well, but only if you know how to let go.
April Rinne (00:18:26) – And so now we’re starting to get a little bit more into some of these superpowers. But I do talk a lot about what does it mean to let go. And when I say let go for so many people, we could have another conversation just about language and etymology and like what are our connotations? When I say let go, most people immediately think giving up, losing, failure, something bad. And it’s fascinating because then when you start looking at a lot of the historical literature and again cross-culturally etcetera, letting go, the ability to let go is actually one of the greatest sources of power and strength and ability to move forward. And it doesn’t mean failure. It means being able to read the tea leaves in a slightly different way, being able, even within an organization, letting go of one thing. I get that you don’t want to let. It’s not like you let go of the whole organization and budgets collapse and org charts fall apart. That’s not what I’m talking about. Letting go of an outdated mode of how you do something, letting go of an outdated rule or policy which opens you up to new forms of innovation, creativity, teamwork, etcetera.
April Rinne (00:19:32) – And so knowing what’s interesting and truly great leaders and I think I look at everyone as some kind of leader, even leading your own life, if you’re not leading a team or an organization, truly great leaders are the ones who know when and where and how to responsibly let go and actively develop again. That ability to let go as a muscle. And I will often challenge people to think about to try to let go of one thing every day, one thing that is no longer serving you. And that’s something you can do at a very small scale, but it helps you to think about and at very low risk as well. But it helps you to think through how might I look at letting go when the stakes are higher?
Jonathan Fields (00:20:12) – You introduce this notion of letting go. And as you shared, this is one of eight sort of superpowers for navigating flux that you write about and then you speak about. I want to dive a little bit more into that because my curiosity, when you say the best folks understand how to do this and when to do it, whether it’s in your personal life, could be a personal relationship that you’ve been in for years that’s just increasingly showing that it’s not right for you in the future.
Jonathan Fields (00:20:37) – And yet we just stay in it for a long time. It could be a business application like resources or project that you’ve gotten behind. What stops people? What stops people from letting go, especially when it becomes increasingly obvious to almost like everyone but you that okay, like this thing is no longer what it needs to be and it’s no longer what you thought it could or would be. What stops it? What makes us grasp so fiercely and like the status quo and not be willing to just let go and explore other options?
April Rinne (00:21:09) – Yeah. Again, a great question and I’m going to come back to what I was talking about earlier, that fundamentally, ultimately and I won’t say this 100% of the time, but I will say very close to a lot most of the time. All of the time it comes back to the sphere. And what’s fascinating, it’s not that the fear would be on the surface. You might acknowledge that, yes, this relationship needs to end, but you’re stuck in it and you’re not fearful of the relationship.
April Rinne (00:21:35) – You may not be fearful of that other person, but you’re fearful of what would happen if you broke that off. Now, what’s fascinating is you often have to dig a few layers deep to get to the fear. It’s not a fear of the person being angry or it’s not a fear of a business collapsing, for example. And this is just one one pattern that I see show up. The real fear you have is fear of being alone, right? You’re not going to get to that on question one, but you have to peel back those layers. But oftentimes what’s fascinating to me and again, I’m not the only person who who would say something like this or who has his has developed expertise on this theme. A lot of times we’re fearful of if things go well, if I let go, I fear my own. I fear not just my own power. I fear that I might have to make some really important decisions that might frighten me because they’re beyond my wildest dreams. I mean, we have those kinds of fears as well, which is fascinating.
April Rinne (00:22:29) – But ultimately it comes down to fear of not knowing what that change might hold, what that decision might hold. And what’s, again, fascinating, go back to something like a relationship. Ending a relationship actually falls into the bucket of changes that we have some control over. Not always, but in this context, we’re talking about changes you control, which should bring hope and yet often bring fear. And so we kind of have to look at why. And now I’m leading a little bit into a different of the eight superpowers. But it’s the issue of trust and why it’s so hard for us to trust not just other people. For many people, the hardest person to trust is ourselves. And so then you start unpacking that, you know, hornet’s nest and you lead to some really interesting conversations as well.
Jonathan Fields (00:23:18) – Yeah. And by the way, one of your broader principles on on these eight superpowers is that the the superpowers amplify each other. So it’s completely natural that we go from one to another here because there is overlap and there’s amplification deletion in addition.
Jonathan Fields (00:23:34) – So if we bridge that gap, if we talk about like the notion of letting go and then fear and then trust being a critical factor, one of the superpowers is to start with trust. And the big question there is trust what and trust who and.
April Rinne (00:23:48) – I love absolutely love taking individuals and teams and leadership cohorts and whoever through this series of questions, reflective questions and small group conversations to better understand their relationship to trust. Because again, just like change, not only is it one word and we often take that again subconsciously, it’s like one thing and then you’re like, Oh, no, trust is complex and rich and multifaceted and beautiful, and we do not have a very good understanding of trust. The average human, we just haven’t looked at it and we haven’t looked at how we have ended up on the whole not trusting other people. I’ll come back to that in a minute. But like just think about when we say trust, right? I will often talk about the framework where there’s a kind of trust that comes from your head, which is cognitive trust, right? I trust that you’ll show up when you say you will.
April Rinne (00:24:42) – I trust that you’ll do good work. Like it’s a very transactional trust, right? That’s very different than I trust that you’ll have my back when I go through tragedy. Or I trust that. That you won’t fire me if I make a mistake. I trust that you you know, that’s very much character, culture, psychological safety, right? That’s the trust that comes from the heart. That’s emotional trust. We’ve got cognitive and emotional trust. Very different. You need them both. They work in tandem. But to understand how they’re different and then you start asking people because not to go, not to go too far. Or a field or two back too far, back in time. But what’s one of the first things that little children learn? Don’t trust strangers, right? Humans are not born not trusting, that’s for sure. We are taught not to trust and we’re taught very young. Don’t trust strangers. And you can understand why parents might say that. But play this out. We grow up.
April Rinne (00:25:32) – We are. We here don’t trust strangers thousands of times before age five. Then we grow up, become adults, and wonder why we don’t trust anybody. And you start looking at like, how did this societal narrative start to infect so much of how we see other people? I on the whole, tend to believe that there are a lot more people who are good and trustworthy than there are bad. At the same time, I’ll acknowledge I don’t mean blind trust or naive trust. There are bad apples in the bunch, but I would much prefer to live in a world where we look at we see those kinds of people as the exception rather than the rule. And that’s where this whole idea of starting with trust, to be able to start with trust, you have to unpack your own relationship to trust and figure out when and where do I start with trust? Because most people have somebody in their life that they trust, you know, almost intuitively. But most people, if you don’t know somebody, the default is don’t trust.
April Rinne (00:26:21) – And where does that come from? And I often have to give a little bit of a caveat or an apology to people to say that, you know, many people have really good reason not to trust that they’ve been burned. Right. But I see this time and time and time again there’s a very big difference between having your trust broken and that turning into never trusting anyone ever again. Right. And we fall down that slippery slope every day, often without realizing it. So you start there. And then particularly when you do this in small groups and whatnot, you get to know people so much better because many people have some kind of moment or experience that had a profound effect on their trust. Usually it was related to only 1 or 2 other people. But then from that point forward, they see everyone in a different light and better understanding where that comes from and helping each other kind of see that in a in a more healthy light is actually a really it’s a really rewarding and fruitful process, not just for how you do business, but actually a lot of that emotional trust as well.
Jonathan Fields (00:27:20) – And I get that. For those who may still be wondering, though, take us the final mile here between why trusting is so important to the process of navigating change.
April Rinne (00:27:31) – Yeah, so the easiest way to phrase this is that the single most important factor to navigating change over time is trust. And what I mean by that is when the unknown hits, the one thing you do not want to have to do is figure it out yourself. Be alone to have to navigate change alone. And in order to not navigate change alone, you need trusted relationships in your life. And in order to have trusted relationships, you have to build trust. You have to know what trust is. You have to come back to this principle of trust. And so that’s one piece of it. And then you can also think about it in more of the meta macro light, which is all the different kinds of trust, the kinds of change we deal with and the kinds of trust that that requires. It means trust in other people.
April Rinne (00:28:16) – It means trust in yourself. It means trust that the sun is going to rise another day. It means trust that you know your trusted relationship, the people who love you today, are going to love you tomorrow. I mean, lots of different things, lots of different kinds of trust. But ultimately, when it comes to how do we navigate change well over time, trusted relationships, people who have an interestingly, it’s mostly that emotional trust to know that if I’m dealt this big change, I have people in my life that will support me, that will at least make me feel not alone. And this is a small side note, but if I may mention it real quick, this is also directly related to our happiness. So I’ve done a lot of work on global metrics of happiness and the the World Happiness Index and so forth. And I’ve worked with Finland, which is the world’s happiest country, and for various reasons we can talk about that if you want. But it’s fascinating that one of the single largest factors of an individual and a society’s level of happiness is feeling that you have someone in your life.
April Rinne (00:29:22) – It can only be it can be just one person, but one person in your life that you trust. So it’s it’s fascinating how much trust bleeds out into so many different elements of how humans thrive.
Jonathan Fields (00:29:35) – Yeah, I mean, it really does feel like it’s it’s this critical quality across so much of just human flourishing. So before we talk about some of the other things and the big question in my mind is whether you have been burned, whether you have been hurt, whether you just have been conditioned over a period of years not to trust, and that’s your default and you find yourself in a place in your life where you’re looking around and there’s literally nobody that you feel like you can trust. And we’re having this conversation saying this is mission critical in your ability to actually flourish through change. Which we are all going to be navigating. What is that person to do? What’s a first step that somebody can take to start to understand how do I actually is it find one person and just open the door to, well, what’s the opening move here for that person?
April Rinne (00:30:28) – What a beautiful question.
April Rinne (00:30:29) – I almost tear up when I hear it because like that person, I just, like, want to reach out and hug them because there are people like that and they realize and it’s not necessarily that they’ve been poorly intentioned about it, it’s that they’ve been focused on the wrong kinds of metrics of success and the wrong ways of seeing other humans in our shared humanity, if you will. So the best way to start is what you said it is Start small. Start with one person. And what’s fascinating, you can think about strengthening relationships you already have and like a person that you may not feel like you trust, learning to trust them, so to speak. But I will often talk about what I call tiny acts of trust, small gestures of trust, which you can do with a stranger. So one of my favorite examples is paying it forward, paying for the cup of coffee for the person behind you. You may or may not know them. They may or may not be expecting it. That’s not trust in that.
April Rinne (00:31:22) – Like trusting that the person is going to drink the cup of coffee. But when that starts playing out at a societal level, then you’ve got like, we’re just paying it forward. Everyone’s being a bit more generous. You can think about opening a door for a stranger. You can think about striking up a conversation with a stranger and you’re not looking for them to become your best friend, but trusting that they’ll have a chat with you, trusting that you might learn something. There are these little things, too, that often for people who are struggling with interpersonal trust that they can get out of their own way a little bit. And these interactions, even with strangers, can feel a little bit less not threatening, but a little bit more like, Oh, I could practice that. You know, the dynamics are different than than when it’s somebody who you might have a long term relationship with.
Jonathan Fields (00:32:02) – Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense to me. So let me close the loop here then, also, because one of the types of trust that you described is self trust.
Jonathan Fields (00:32:10) – Let’s bring it back to the same person we’re talking about. For whatever reason, they find themselves in a place of life where they just there’s no one that they genuinely trust. But also part of what’s going if you reach a point in your life where you legitimately do not have anyone in your orbit who you feel genuinely you can trust, my sense is you probably also are feeling some level of I’m questioning whether I can actually even trust myself, my own judgments, my own observations, like what is or is not real or true. Do you have a sense for that being true? And if so, how do we start with that?
April Rinne (00:32:42) – Yes. So I do not have empirical evidence. I’m not sure that any such like in terms of a research study on this. But on the whole, in terms of research and just lived experience and observed in others for many years. Yes, yes, absolutely. These things are correlated. So when people who have fewer trusted relationships tend to trust others, much less including themselves.
April Rinne (00:33:06) – So it kind of, again, this notion of things enhancing or feeding or amplifying one another, it’s definitely amplified. And, you know, chicken in an egg situation, two, in terms of which which started which provoked the other. But this is where two, it can be tricky depending on where people are. What kind of I don’t work in mental health, but when we look on within the range of mental health challenges, you know, how far has someone drawn themselves inward and down? To what degree can we pull ourselves back up as it relates to self trust? Because oftentimes, depending on where a person is, you might want to start with trusting others to get to a point where you’re able to think about trusting yourself much more. For most people, I would often say, like if possible, to start with trusting yourself. Start with practicing, trusting yourself in these tiny little ways, right? Trusting yourself that you can actually take care of yourself on a sunny day for an afternoon, trusting that if you, you know, go out.
April Rinne (00:34:03) – A lot of people are a frightened for example, of excess of like if I start doing something, I won’t be able to stop and learning. But it shows up in all kinds of different ways or I’m I don’t trust that if I, if I speak my truth or if I share my my real voice that others will like me. It’s very not exaggerated. But like we take one thing and we blow it up as to like and everything in my life will be affected by this versus pick something small, pick a conversation you can have with someone, pick something you want to go do to to take care of yourself like and trusting yourself through that process. Even things that you may not have a lot of anxiety about, whether you trust yourself or not. Start with the things that you know you can do well and realize that doing those things well involves trusting yourself that you will do them at all, and then expanding that, fanning that out into other parts of your life.
Jonathan Fields (00:34:53) – Yeah, I love that.
Jonathan Fields (00:34:54) – It’s sort of like microdosing trust to get to the place where you’re like expanding and microdosing it. At some point I.
April Rinne (00:35:00) – Just say I like the Microdosing trust that might be a new a new old tagline here.
Jonathan Fields (00:35:05) – Thank you. So trust. It’s so central to all of this. I do want to touch on some of the other principles and superpowers that you share around navigating. Change. The very first one that you actually introduced in your book I thought was interesting because it’s also to a certain extent counterintuitive, which is the notion of running slower when most people see this uninvited change coming their way. Oftentimes the reaction is, let me get through this as fast as humanly possible. And you’re inviting us to actually maybe flip that script.
April Rinne (00:35:30) – I love the flipping the script. And each of the superpowers, just as a general matter, is counterintuitive in some way. And I think I always like to just mention that and say what I mean by that is it runs against a lot of the scripts that society have put out for us around metrics of success and what matters and what to do.
April Rinne (00:35:46) – And the reason for that is because a lot of the scripts by which we’re living our lives and individually, collectively today are premised in an assumption that we can control what happens, that we live in a world where humans are the dominant species, etcetera, etcetera. And we have some say over what happens more and more. That’s becoming increasingly clear that that’s not the case. That never has been the case. And so what that means is we need to rethink these societal scripts. And so back to run slower, which I think of as a symbol of our pace of change. What I’m really getting at is when you think about the pace at which you live and work and how your speed affects what you see and how you react and how you respond. In a world that is insta everything 24 over seven. I mean, that’s kind of the world we live in and faster is better in speed. I’m not saying that speed is bad, just to be clear, and I’m not saying that it doesn’t make sense to run in an emergency.
April Rinne (00:36:43) – I’m not saying it doesn’t make sense to sprint toward something you care about. The challenge we face as a society is that sprinting or emergency pace has become the norm, and everyone is not just frazzled and burnt out and tired and exhausted and anxious and all the rest. The bigger problem, or equally large problem is that when we’re constantly running fast, going, moving, moving, moving, just trying to get to the next thing that compromises our ability to make good decisions, that compromises our ability to see the full picture, that compromises our ability to actually be our best selves in any way, shape or form. And so the run slower, the way it’s phrased is in an ever faster paced world that 24 over seven world, your key to success and well-being and satisfaction is to learn how to slow your own pace. And when I say slow, I don’t mean stop. I don’t mean be lazy. I don’t mean give up. I mean learning to to run. I do use the verb run, but at a pace that is sustainable, that allows you to see and get clarity and understand what’s really happening and and what is the right thing to do in that moment.
April Rinne (00:37:49) – So that’s where I’m it is counterintuitive, but it’s if we just keep running faster, faster, faster, faster, faster. Any system that does that, not only does it ultimately lead to collapse, it’s also a trigger of fear. And that’s a whole other angle. But like fear creeps in when we’re running fast physiologically. And so all of this ends up we end up sort of twisted up like pretzels. And what I’m trying to do is unpack that to help us actually be much better positioned for whatever changes come our way.
Jonathan Fields (00:38:17) – Yeah, that makes so much sense. It’s like, bring it down a notch. As you’re describing this, literally having a little bit of a flashback in a very past life. I was a lawyer and I think, you know, I know, I know. And I was in practice in a large firm in Manhattan. And I found myself working in a tower where I was There were two different elevator banks and I was working on high up on one. And the senior partner I was working with was in the other.
Jonathan Fields (00:38:46) – So and this person was very old school, didn’t turn on the computer, didn’t know how to. This was many years ago. So to communicate with him, every time I had to communicate, I would have to go from my office, take the elevator down to the lobby, cross over to a different elevator and go back up. And I found myself like, we’re on a deal doing this massive, massive public offering. And like, just tons and tons of work, like, never going home. And. And I’m madly running down to the lobby and back up and crossing elevator banks all day, every day. And I’m trying to go faster and faster and faster because the deadline is getting closer and closer and closer. And just like at some point along the way, it dawned on me that I just I was making more and more mistakes and that the net effect of that of me trying to go faster was that it was requiring me to actually make more of those trips because I was having to correct all the mistakes that I was making.
Jonathan Fields (00:39:40) – And had I just dialed it back a touch, like not like, you know, I wasn’t sprinting, but I also wasn’t slacking. I was I was still moving with intention, but just a touch that maybe the ratio of errors would drop enough because I wasn’t just hyperventilating 24 over seven, that it would then also allow me to not have to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, and it would be much more humane and also deliver a much better word product. And that’s exactly what I did. And it worked. And it was such kind of a silly but like it was so powerful that this was like 30 years ago. And I still remember that experience.
April Rinne (00:40:16) – Oh, thank you, Jonathan. This is a fabulous example and it’s spot on. And I’m so glad you shared it. And to expand a little bit on some of the workplace dynamics, but also organizational dynamics, Probably my favorite example of an organization that gets this is actually the Navy SEALs, The Navy SEALs.
April Rinne (00:40:34) – Their mantra, slow is smooth and smooth is fast, Right? They figured out that it’s when you’re running fast, when you’re racing, that you make foolish mistakes. You drop something, you bumped into something, you forget something. Right. And what happens, Right? Your adrenaline goes up, you lose your cool, you get anxious, all of that. And I love that you bring up not just the the law firm setting, which I have much empathy for, particularly separate conversation, billable hour, not so helpful for this kind of thing either, let’s just say. But more broadly on any organization, right? You’ve got people who have a thousand things on their to do list and they’re racing to do them. All right. And the problem we face and you wake up in the morning and you’re like, I’ve got a thousand things and by the end you might have done 20 of them and you have 30 more things on the list or whatever, right? But like overwhelm the challenge is that when we’re just when our mindset and our mojo is to just react and race fast and do as much as you can to get as many of these things done as you can, not only do you make more mistakes, but you also and in some ways more profoundly, you fail to realize that if you actually paused for a moment, took a look at what was on that to do list, you would realize that I don’t know the number ten, 20, 50, maybe 100 of those 1000 things actually needs to be done or couldn’t be delegated or couldn’t wait for a later time, you know, So like these things compound as well.
April Rinne (00:42:02) – And so in workplaces, that notion and I hear this from teams all the time, that when a team is able to do this together, it’s like the whole thing just starts. It’s like a whole bunch of sand gets out of the wheels and everyone. Because what happens is when you make particularly foolish mistakes, that’s not just time and energy for you. That’s time and energy for your colleagues. It’s time and energy for the organization and it just kind of compounds. And so take a beat, step back, but again, develop this as a practice in your daily routine, in your weekly routine as a team. Families can do this as well. I mean, it’s it’s a nice it’s a nice practice to have and to keep.
Jonathan Fields (00:42:42) – And it just makes life more livable. Also, like just on a human level, you know, and just lets you you can breathe a little bit more easily along the way. And it’s interesting also because this as everything that we’re talking about, like one feeds into the next and into the next, like one of the other principles is the notion of seeing what’s invisible.
Jonathan Fields (00:43:00) – Really hard to see what’s invisible when you’re moving at the speed of light.
April Rinne (00:43:05) – Bingo. Oh, and what’s lovely is those too often they, like, run in tandem, run slower, and you start to see and often use the analogy or the example of what do you see when you’re driving your car, you know, 80 miles an hour down the road? What do you see when you ride your bicycle down that very same road and what do you see when. When you walk down that very same road, same road, same stretch of land, you’re passing through. But your ability to see and to notice what I love is things we notice when we’re walking the details, you know, and including you can’t greet somebody. You can’t say hello to somebody. You can’t form relationships when you’re always running fast, right? Yeah.
Jonathan Fields (00:43:42) – So only see what’s invisible idea. What do you mean? When we’re talking about invisible?
April Rinne (00:43:47) – Oh, and this gets very interesting, very fast in terms of depending on the context within which I’m working.
April Rinne (00:43:53) – See, what’s invisible can mean many different things in terms of seeing what we’ve been missing most recently. This is coming up a lot with regards to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging issues. Who’s at the table? We can see who’s at the table. We often don’t see who’s not at the table. If we actually saw who was not at the table and either brought them to the table or created a different table, we would get not just better solutions and outcomes. I’m looking at this through the lens of how do we navigate the unknown. We would get more wisdom and more kinds of perspective to answer the question, What do you do when you don’t know what to do? So that’s one. We can look at this often. Not to go back to the law, but you and I spent many years doing different things in that world and spent a lot of time looking at public policy and how we had designed and written different rules and rules are written to benefit some people, the people we see, and to not benefit other people or stakeholders whom we don’t see.
April Rinne (00:44:50) – And so again, see what’s invisible. I always have to be very careful when I say invisible. I do not mean we don’t see it. If you’re looking closely, it’s glaringly clear who is and who isn’t there. Who who doesn’t, doesn’t matter who is and isn’t counted, etcetera. But when we’re constantly running fast and the ability to navigate change when change hits, if you’re only seeing and I like to say like every person in every culture and it’s not unique to any particular culture, every culture, we are taught to see some things and not see others. And when change hits, it’s what we can’t see that often gets us in trouble and often keeps us from actually developing a better solution, a better way forward. So I know that sounds a bit I don’t mean for that to sound vague. There are lots of tangible examples, but depending on who I’m working with and how, and obviously in family situations, personal situations, there’s a lot of the unwritten rules at home. There’s a lot of the unscripted, the dynamics, the things we started to do by default, but not because it was healthy for the relationship.
April Rinne (00:45:55) – You know, those sorts of things are also the invisible. And so how do we learn to how do we learn to surface those invisible things, turn them into possibility to your point, but also recognize them as tools that actually help us navigate change?
Jonathan Fields (00:46:09) – Yeah, I so agree with this. You know, I often think to myself that subtext matters more than what’s surface, you know, because it’s like so much of communication happens on level subtext or lack of communication. And often it’s the most important things. But like nobody’s actually surfacing them and saying, can we actually talk about this? And yet they’re at the table with everybody else. You know, it’s just there being, you know, and talking about invisible. They’re known, but but intentionally being treated as being invisible and not by everyone. Sometimes some people realize them, some people see it, some people don’t. And some people, I think, step into moments of uncertainty, of change. Having developed this skill of seeing the invisible and then trying to then also leverage that as to create an advantage within the context of that particular situation.
Jonathan Fields (00:47:02) – So the notion of like, can we all actually sit, sit in a conversation together, be in this moment together and talk about all the stuff that nobody is talking about and bring it to the surface? I feel like it almost not only helps you navigate change, it also helps bring more equity to the process of change.
April Rinne (00:47:20) – Absolutely. Absolutely. And to do so, when I say responsibly, that sense of when you say taking advantage, like we can take advantage in a really positive way, occasionally, rarely. But it does happen. You see people trying to take advantage of that, you know, like like a sort of I see something you don’t see, right? But my spirit and what I see on the whole back to the trust piece, like, yes, you will have instances of that happening. That is the exception, not the rule. The rule is that this is absolutely collective betterment. And I just want to build on one thing you were talking about, too, because in the in the setting of of teams and talent, another example, again, it bleeds into another superpower.
April Rinne (00:47:55) – We don’t need to go there, but what’s on your resume and what’s not on it and what are the skills that actually help you thrive and succeed at work? And you think of these these we talk a lot about the people who have the people who are just magnets. You want to work with them. They may or may not have the credentials. They may or may not be, you know, the most powerful or the best dressed, but they’re like awesome people. And you look at their resume and what I love is like, we are so much more. Was in our resume. And yet we hire based on this piece of paper or this LinkedIn profile, which has some interesting facts on it, but it doesn’t contain the invisible skills, the invisible talents that each of us have. And how do we and this I spend time in another chapter looking at how do we actually unearth those skills so that we actually can have more flourishing careers as well. And organizations can do a better job of talent, engagement and whatnot.
April Rinne (00:48:47) – But I love that angle also because even that ability to see is one of those. The irony, the ability to see what’s invisible is actually an invisible skill itself, but that is actually a superpower and something that we all need to train ourselves to be better at doing.
Jonathan Fields (00:49:03) – And I think it’s such a huge superpower also. But you tease this other superpower in this. So let’s take us there.
April Rinne (00:49:10) – Yeah, sorry about that. And I’ll we can keep this one brief, but it’s fun because it certainly relates to the world of organizations and, you know, talent, attraction, engagement, all the rest. And our own individual professional lives. And this one is related. It’s unique amongst the eight because it is the most, I would say, practical, tangible like and it’s related to the future of work, which is in flux. Right? Lots of lots of uncertainty everywhere. The running joke being like more is what’s not in flux is sort of I’m looking for those examples so much is very little isn’t but that the world of work, not just organizations and how they’re thinking about the future of AI and all the rest, but individuals saying, how do I want to have a what does it look like? How do I design a career that is meaningful and flexible and what I like to call flexi right? It has the ability to weather change? Well, and one of the things that I’ve been working on for quite some time, more than 20 years, but it really is gaining momentum in the last 5 to 10 is the notion of how we see and shape our careers and the the career shape of the future.
April Rinne (00:50:13) – And if you think about historically, most people look at their career as either a ladder you’re going to climb or a path, a linear path you’re going to pursue to ever higher plateaus. Those are fine shapes of one’s career. Nothing wrong with them per se, but they come from the first industrial revolution. They come from a time of manufacturing at scale and the first time we could do these things 250 years ago, wildly outdated for the world that we live in today, in which it is a world that where there have never been more ways to build a meaningful career, earn income, contribute to society than now. And yet we’re still stuck in this like, ladder career, ladder box. And so the superpower, it’s the difference between a career ladder or a career path and what I call a career portfolio. And shifting from seeing your career, the shape of your career as a ladder, you’re going to climb and rethinking it as a portfolio, or you’re going to curate like an artist wood or an investor.
April Rinne (00:51:10) – Wood Lots of different kinds of portfolios, but it’s a much more holistic view of who you are, what you can do and how you can have a professional life of meaning and success. And what’s lovely is that this notion I mean, the moment I started writing and talking about it, it’s very popular amongst individuals. It’s like you’re speaking my language. This is what I wanted, not just for me, selfishly, but I look at the world of work and I don’t see I don’t know what my future looks like. I see organizations automating things. I see organizations downsizing, I see disruption. How do I navigate this? Individuals like it. The piece I also want to tease out here is that this is actually smart for organizations as well, for how you see talent and how you cultivate new avenues for leadership in internal mobility and see your talent more fully as humans, not just as what’s on the resume.
Jonathan Fields (00:52:03) – Yeah, that makes so much more sense to me. And I feel like whether individuals and organizations want to be brought to this conversation, they are being brought to it because it’s just a reflection of the state of things right now.
Jonathan Fields (00:52:18) – And, you know, there’s no going backwards here. Like there’s we’re only going deeper into flux. And it’s and it’s a healthy approach to it.
April Rinne (00:52:26) – And one one plug I’ll put in just the healthy approach and you can think about it strategically of like, how do I look at the different things I can do and how I combine different skills and what’s my narrative and all of that. Going back to the human piece, in this world of work, there’s just so little that people feel they have any agency or control over. And again, whether they’re a first year just starting out or whether they’re, you know, mid-level manager or even an executive, like there’s just so much I just don’t know. I want to do the right thing. And what I love is that unlike a unlike a job that, you know, even if you’re really good at it, even if you love it, a job that someone else gives you can always be taken away. It’s just a fact of life. No one can take your portfolio away from you.
April Rinne (00:53:11) – It is yours forever. You’re responsible for it, but no one can take it away. And at the human level, at a very fundamental psychological level, the sense of peace and comfort. It can come with that is really helpful as well.
Jonathan Fields (00:53:26) – Yeah, completely agree. And since you brought up the word human, that also kind of meanders us into one of the other ideas here, which is to be all the more human and serve other humans like this is sort of in a different context. But a lot of I think our conversation keeps reflecting back to this notion of like, how do we actually humanize the experience of change, whether it’s in the context of work, of personal life, of health, of relationships. And it also reflects back to the very early part of our conversation around individualism and collectivism. And with that second part of your invitation and serve other humans teases out just a bit more in terms of like how this is critical in the context of us better navigating change.
April Rinne (00:54:08) – Yeah, well, and it’s interesting because it also has trust right at the core.
April Rinne (00:54:11) – Yeah, for sure. So it’s interesting is this superpower, I’ll give you the very basic explanation of how it began, because then you might imagine it has actually blossomed. And and I hear from people quite often around like, I read this and it meant this to me and I applied it in this way. And I’m like, That’s awesome. That is not how I like. Like, you’ve made this your own, which is wonderful. That’s what I hope for. But I’ve realized that this this superpower in particular, people interpret it in very personal ways, how it was intended originally, which I do think applies to most humans. Most people on the planet in some way, shape or form was really around the contrast and the tension we feel between our relationship to other humans and our relationship to technology and the fact that we are spending ever more time on our devices and yet ever less time with one another. And how this plays out in our ability to navigate change and uncertainty is that and again, generalizing, caveat, we’re often led to believe and again, consciously, subconsciously change hits.
April Rinne (00:55:12) – You have a problem, pull out the app, it’s going to fix the problem, pull out the change hits. Oh my, my, my device will take care of it. And the more the more access I have to different devices, tools, hacks, whatever, the better equipped I am to navigate change. And when we’re talking about change, like traffic, like there’s a change in the traffic. Okay, pull up my app and I’ll get there more quickly. That’s. That’s legit. I’ll give you that. But when this capital sea change hits, what you find is that the more reliant we are on technology, the harder time we have navigating the kinds of change that ultimately are are the human experience of change. And so this idea of being all the more human when it comes to navigating change, be very careful about your relationship to change back to control this notion that I can outsource my control to technology, right? And then change hits and you realize that those tools only get you so far.
April Rinne (00:56:11) – And I’m not saying they’re not helpful on a very practical transactional level, but we need to actually rely on each other to navigate the unknown. And the service piece goes does go back to that. The way we navigate change well is together. And if change, for example, if change happens, that prevents you from doing what you would like to do, the number one thing you can do to bring fulfillment and a sense of having made the best of that change is to help someone else be able to achieve what they want to do amidst that change. If that makes that sense of purpose, that sense of connection, that sense of frankly, possibility, right? One possibility might have been eliminated or changed dramatically. Another possibility opens up. Throw yourself towards that and you and those you serve are going to be better off.
Jonathan Fields (00:57:02) – Yeah, I mean, sort of like the more expansive we get, the more engaged we get with other people, the better we handle this, this whole experience.
April Rinne (00:57:11) – And the more we realize we’re not really that distinctive entities, so to speak.
April Rinne (00:57:16) – Right. A sense of you’re defining your success through the success of others. You can help. That makes you a much more successful person.
Jonathan Fields (00:57:24) – Yeah. Okay. So we’ve sort of woven between six of the eight superpowers that we’ve talked about here. I do want to touch on on the final two before we wrap up our conversation. Again, at least one of these very counterintuitive because we’re talking about navigating change, which a lot of people think about as controlling it. Not necessarily true. And one of your invitations is to get lost in the process of navigating change.
April Rinne (00:57:46) – Yes. And love. I love Get lost. I have a special a soft spot in my heart for it because it’s the one that relates most closely in terms of how do I practice. This relates to travel. It relates to like getting out there, stretching beyond your comfort zone. So getting lost is this again, when we say get lost or that you’ve gotten lost? If I say to you, you got lost, usually the unspoken is you failed.
April Rinne (00:58:10) – You couldn’t find your way, you screwed up. Whatever. Not good stigma, whatever. When you think about a world in flux, a world of constant change, we are all going to be feeling lost. Getting. Im lost, if you will, all the time in terms of when no one knows what to do, you’re lost. This is about not just shifting the narrative from acknowledging that that’s part of the human condition, but to develop the muscle that actively seeks to get lost, to feel lost, and to be comfortable navigating through that, not knowing. And this plays out in so many different ways. So one thing I’ll just put this on the side. This is the number one leadership quality needed today. In survey after survey after survey is comfort with not knowing your tolerance for not knowing and being completely okay with that. What do we typically hear? Like, No, you have to know the way. You have to have the plan. You have to know how far. You have to know what time.
April Rinne (00:59:04) – Like we have to have this again, figuratively, this path set out in stone and know exactly what our what, how, how the journey is going to go. Whereas in reality, that’s just setting yourself up for frustration and friction. ET cetera. But the way I like to phrase this is asking people like, think about times and travel is what often comes up when you thought you knew where you were going and you got lost. What ended up happening? And they often go, oh, we, we, we we found this place that we didn’t know about and it was awesome. It was our favorite day. Or we learned something about ourselves or we we met this new person and they were really kind and like, you think about that and why can’t we apply that? Getting lost in that kind of setting is celebrated. It’s memories. Why can’t we apply that in other parts of our life? Not everywhere, all the time. But why can’t we see that as a strength? Because again, the ability to simply be okay and keep the anxiety and fear at bay, but also keep the, oh my gosh, I just screwed up.
April Rinne (01:00:07) – I got lost self talk. To keep those things at bay is what allows you to stay present and oriented as you navigate, frankly, uncharted territory. Yeah.
Jonathan Fields (01:00:19) – And in my mind it’s the getting lost like we talked about possibility that’s where the possibility lies. Possibility if if like if you’re always in the known situation, like there’s no possibility you’re either doing what you’ve already done before or replicating what somebody else has done and why bother at that point? Like that’s what.
April Rinne (01:00:35) – Joke. Like there’s nothing respectfully to highways. There’s nothing new on the interstate. It’s the detours. You want to go off the road, that’s where you’re going to find something new.
Jonathan Fields (01:00:46) – Yeah, completely agree. Completely agree. And that brings us home with your notion of knowing you’re enough. And I think so much of what we’ve been talking to also indirectly, is knowing yourself in a lot of different ways. So knowing you’re enough is sort of like this subset of knowing yourself.
April Rinne (01:01:01) – Yes. And it manifests in two ways. And I’ve had people ask me whether or not the chapter is a typo because I phrase it as, No, you’re Oh, you are right.
April Rinne (01:01:10) – But what we’re getting at on the form of the know you’re enough while you are is very much a counterbalance to the reality of living in a more and more and more and more and more society and not just more money or more power, but more likes, more clicks, more clothes, more, more everything. Right. And what’s and social media has lit that on fire. But it’s really a consumer driven economy that then has technology that can just tell us the fact that when there’s more and more and more and more and more out there, the unwritten piece, the invisible piece, but sometimes it’s visible is that you will never have that more, you will never have enough. You will you’re always going to be striving for something you don’t have, which makes a lot of people unhappy, makes a lot of people not feel like they’re that question their self-worth, etcetera. And so we’re looking at this knowing that you are enough. And I would say, you know, the knowing you are enough is wisdom for everyone at all times, not just around change, not just around the unknown.
April Rinne (01:02:11) – It is just like we need to recognize that we’ve always, you and I and everyone has always been enough. And it’s consumer mass marketers primarily that are feeding us a diet of you’re not enough, but you will be if you buy this product or that service. Well, says who? Right? If you look at most of human history, we didn’t live in a consumer economy for most of human history. More was not the goal. Enough was the goal. And enough is plenty. Enough means having the having enough to thrive, which doesn’t mean more and more, more, more, more. And I’ll often use the analogy of luggage. Right? How much luggage do you want to take on a trip? You want to have all the things you’ll need, You know, enough a warm jacket and whatnot, more luggage. You do not want to be hauling that around. More luggage is excess. And yet that’s how we treat a trip we’re going to take, you know, to another destination. Why don’t we apply that to the journey of life? And these things work in tandem.
April Rinne (01:03:11) – So this idea that you are enough, but then knowing you’re enough from a sustainability perspective, right, that that implicates directly your ability to navigate change. Because what happens is that when you’re going. After more and more and more and more and more and change hits, it is much harder to course correct, much harder to adapt, much harder to pivot because you’ve actually got not just overhead, but you have a lot of baggage that you’re carrying around.
Jonathan Fields (01:03:35) – Yeah. And what’s so fascinating, too, is that you hear so many stories of people where they have they’ve worked so hard that they’ve given up so much in the pursuit of more and more and more, more, more like accumulation and status as the representation of success. And then something big and profound happens. Massive change that brings them to the knees and often, like eliminates all the stuff. And it’s brutal. But at the same time, oftentimes will people will share. There’s a sense of freedom that has come with that to actually not have to think about maintaining all of this stuff anymore and just starting fresh and be much simpler and more streamlined.
Jonathan Fields (01:04:12) – So I can see it working on these different levels. So in this container of Good Life project, it feels like a good place for us to come full circle. If I offer up the phrase to live a good life, what comes up?
April Rinne (01:04:24) – To be of service to others and to have gratitude for the gift of being alive.
Jonathan Fields (01:04:31) – Thank you. Hey, before you leave, if you love this episode, safe bet you’ll also love the conversation we had with Bessel van der Kolk about paying attention to what your body is telling you during times of stress. You’ll find a link to Bissell’s episode in the show notes and of course, if you haven’t already done so, please go ahead and follow Good Love project in your favorite listening app. And if you found this conversation interesting or inspiring or valuable and chances are you did. Since you’re still listening here, would you do me a personal favor, a seven second favor, and share it maybe on social or by text or by email? Even just with one person.
Jonathan Fields (01:05:09) – Just copy the link from the app you’re using and tell those you know those you love, those you want to help navigate this thing called life a little better so we can all do it better together with more ease and more joy. Tell them to listen, then even invite them to talk about what you’ve both discovered. Because when podcasts become conversations and conversations become action. That’s how we all come alive together. Until next time, I’m Jonathan Fields, signing off for Good Life Project.