The Second Mix Podcast - Reflect, Revise, and Remix Your Life
Aug. 29, 2022

Don't Start With Why. Start With "Who" - Guest Nathaniel Turner

Don't Start With Why. Start With

Author and TED speaker Nathaniel A. Turner, JD, MALS, is a self-described “Humanity Propulsion Engineer.” Nate is the author of several books, including the children’s book series, “The Amazing World of STEM,” and his history-making book, “Raising Supaman.”

Turner’s appeared in many media outlets, including The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, iHeartRadio, The Good Men Project, Sirius XM, and U.S. News & World Report. Corporations, municipalities, and NGOs like Anthem, Inc., the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the City of Indianapolis, and the National Society of Black Engineers invite Nate to share his practical message for living the life we’ve always imagined while also serving the greater good.

A modern-day Renaissance Man, as evidenced by the diversity of his education, including a bachelor's in accounting, masters in history and theology, and doctor of jurisprudence combined with a wide range of personal experiences and professions, are only part of what makes his wide-ranging presentations “can’t miss” events. What truly sets Nate apart from others is his unique oft times comical ability not only to see the world differently but to challenge his audiences in an edutaining way to live outside the box so that the world might be able to experience us at our very best.

As a zealous advocate that every person has an opportunity to maximize their human potential, Nate regularly shares through books, courses, workshops, and conferences a backward design life process initially created to help his unborn child become a great global citizen and meet the rigorous educational requirements of the top colleges and universities without means of wealth, privilege, legacy status, fraud, bribery, cheating or Adobe Photoshop. 

Turner’s son not only met Harvard’s admission benchmarks (i.e., test scores in the top 1%, 33 college credits by his junior year, proficiency in four languages, left home after his junior year to play soccer in Brazil; and started a foundation to address teen homelessness); he eviscerated the profiled criterion by his sixteenth birthday. At present, Turner’s son is a third-year Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. candidate at one of the world’s premier graduate engineering schools. Today, those tools, techniques, and strategies initially created to help his Gen Zer thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are educational and life development staples for students and parents of all ages and organizations worldwide.

When you hear Nathaniel, not only will it be obvious why he is a highly sought-after speaker, you will never be the same. Moreover, there is little doubt that those in the audience will leave with a renewed commitment to live the life they’ve always imagined while doing their part to leave the earth better than it was when they arrived. 


[00:00:00] Matt: Nate, I just read through your bio again, and the message that you sent to me on pod match. I am seriously interested in journaling, but first let me ask you what do you do. 

[00:00:12] Nathan: What do I do? Professionally for 25 years, a little more 25 years. I've run my own financial planning practice.

[00:00:19] Nathan: That's what I've done for 25 years. I wouldn't say is what I do. It's what I've done to, to provide for my family. What I do today. Work each day to make sure that when my time on this planet is up, I am who I want to appear as on my obituary spoken in my eulogy and written as the last words on my, at my Testament.

[00:00:43] Matt: Wow. Okay. That sounds fascinating. So how do you work each day to do that? 

[00:00:49] Nathan: So I have this belief that the word "who" is our most important word . I think it's an understated word. So I'll take, if you will, I'll take a little bit of time. Explain please. For a while, we were spending a lot of time.

[00:01:01] Nathan: We still do talking about our, why I hear people all this time saying why this, why that Simon Sinek wrote great leaders begin and then would why? And then the world seemed to say, everybody need to find your why. and I think that's, it's a misguided approach to the way we should be looking to life. Maybe great leaders should look at why maybe not.

[00:01:21] Nathan: What I think we should be asking ourselves is who we are. And who we would like to be when our time is up. I'm not gonna be here to write my obituary. I'm not gonna be here to give my eulogy. If I was that is gonna be a very different funeral service. If I'm there in the room, , I'm not gonna, I'm not going to go and then make sure that the last words that appear on my tombstone or my earned, that's not gonna be me.

[00:01:44] Nathan: Who's gonna do that. The people who I leave and those how I treated those people is gonna determine who those people say. I. And who I get to be for the remainder of fraternity. They're gonna write those last statements. So for me that's what I'm attempting to do every day. If, when I'm done with you, if you're the last conversation that I have and you could be, I don't know, right?

[00:02:06] Nathan: No, tomorrow's not promised the next. Moment's not promised. I want to make sure that you knew that I was a guy who was willing to help you, that you knew I was a guy willing to help serve the things that you thought that matter.. And I want you to know that I'm a guy who believed that you matter. And so if I don't do a good job of.

[00:02:22] Nathan: Then I fail being who I want to be when my time is up. 

[00:02:26] Matt: Wow. Wow. That got pretty deep. I apologize. No, that's good. Please. Don't apologize for that. So when we talk about you, you saying who is the most important would you say that how you see it? Do you see it as who, not just who I am, but who.

[00:02:43] Matt: Who can I help? Who like out to other people too, when I ask myself who I can say who are the people in my life that I need to be taking care of? 

[00:02:51] Nathan: Sure. You, the thing is, so I, this is the part of who is this that the, basically I can explain is this, if you ask me what kind of father I am, I might tell you, I'm the greatest father in the history of the world.

[00:03:03] Nathan: And then you say what is your son? And I'd say I believe my son thinks I'm the greatest father in the history of the world. And then you'd meet my son. He'd say, oh no, he's an absolute . Who am I? I'm my son's father. So the son gets to decide what kind of father I am, the father doesn't get to decide what kind of father he is, the son decides.

[00:03:21] Nathan: And and my son is gonna be the one who leaves the message or the record. If assuming that things go in the order that usually goes to say, who. So I don't think that we are who we think we are. We're not who we believe. Others think we are. We are solely who we are in relationship to the people that matter to us.

[00:03:39] Nathan: Wow. 

[00:03:40] Matt: This is great stuff, cuz. I'm usually not at a loss for words, but you've thrown me into a paradigm shift, all this time I've been doing the Simon Sinek thing. And and trying to find my why, and trying to help people find their why. And, sometimes I get to a point where I tell them it just wasn't.

[00:03:56] Matt: All that important. Your, why? If people just say, I don't know my, why, I don't know what I want to be 10 years from now. I'm like then just do what you can to be the best you can be right now. And 

[00:04:04] Nathan: you've been tell you've been telling them who too, you just know. 

[00:04:07] Matt: Yes, I did not. I did not know that.

[00:04:08] Matt: So it's not actually a paradigm shift. It's just a shift of the descriptive words. 

[00:04:13] Nathan: Yeah. I think your why real quickly is when you wouldn't have, when my, so I was married in 1990. Okay. And when I, and I was in law school, so why did I need to finish law school? Because I had promised a woman that I was gonna be a lawyer and she had an expectation of a kind of lifestyle she was gonna live.

[00:04:32] Nathan: So that was my why, but then we had a child and okay. What is your, why now? I don't wanna be a lawyer, but I gotta find a way still to take care of my family. So I guess my point that I'm making is that your. You could stay in the same occupation and your why could change. But I started as a practice cuz I need to take care of a family.

[00:04:49] Nathan: Then I had a practice so I could take care of, do my family, wanted to do things. Then I had to work because I wanted to save money for retirement. But when you save enough money for retirement, do those things. Why are you still working? Your why has changed who you are to, to my point earlier seems to be the Mo much more important thing for us to be.

[00:05:08] Matt: So when you do your journal every morning, do you think about who? 

[00:05:13] Nathan: Absolutely. I think about who I want to be when my life is over, I think about who I want to be. If I could live my best life in the moment. It. 

[00:05:24] Matt: Okay. So if you have have you ever written out your eulogy or what you'd want it to be something that you're striving towards?

[00:05:32] Matt: I have. 

[00:05:33] Nathan: Okay. Okay. And, And I've also asked more importantly, I've asked my son to write it. Okay. Wow. I asked him who do you want your father to be when I'm, when my time. And here's who I want to be now. Tell me if you think I'm on course to make that happen. If not, let's start thinking about what I need to do the course.

[00:05:51] Nathan: Correct. Wow. 

[00:05:54] Matt: Have you that's could that could have been a hard thing for you 

[00:05:57] Nathan: To hear it? No, in some ways, yes, but I grew up with a father who I went I'm almost 20 years. We probably had four or five convers. And at first I missed my father. I missed the aspect of having a father that, that hallmark told me I needed to have.

[00:06:17] Nathan: And then one day I woke up and realized that all I was doing was missing the opportunity to be the kind of father that hallmark said my son could have. And then that changed everything. Okay. And the only way that I could change that was to be, to ask the person who I was his father, how are you feeling?

[00:06:37] Nathan: about our relationship, something, my father would've never asked me. You say you do what as I say, and I didn't have a father, this is the best I can do. And I'm like, yo, this is terrible. this is not the best you could do. You could do better. You could just ask me, tell you how to do it better. So I thought I'll do that with my child.

[00:06:56] Nathan: Wow. 

[00:06:56] Matt: That is excellent. So at what age should I start asking? My kids are seven and four. What age should I a seven year old? Sure. What time? What? The four 

[00:07:04] Nathan: year old right now you can ask simple enough questions that the four year, if your four year old can ask, 

[00:07:09] Matt: he'd tell me I don't bring him enough candy.

[00:07:11] Matt: I never give him candy. 

[00:07:12] Nathan: He might tell you that he might, but he might tell some other very instructional things. And my son, when he was two told me he wanted mail and honestly, I told everyone, and I know it gets a little, may seem a little cliche and it may feel redundant, but I'm here having this conversation with you because a child once told me that he wanted mail and because he wanted mail, I started writing him letters and I wrote him enough letters that when he was 16 and left the country to, and he moved to Brazil he, I gave him some of the letters and.

[00:07:43] Nathan: And while he was there, I went to Rio for a few days because every man should go to Rio by himself. And , I stayed in Rio for a few days while he was at the academy, my wife called and said, he wasn't doing well. You're gonna have to go back long story short. I go back to the academy and just see him. I'm expecting him to have his bags packed, ready to come back to America.

[00:08:03] Nathan: He says, he's got a big smile on his face. I'm like, why are you smiling? He said I got a question for you. I said, yeah, I got a question for you too. I paid $415 to get a cab ride back here and your bags are not packed. He said, no, no dad you gave me the binder with the letters. Did you put the letters in any particular order?

[00:08:19] Nathan: And I said, no. He said, I said, why? He said, I reread the first three letters you wrote. With me. I remember my purpose. I'm gonna be fine. Whenever I do return, we're gonna take these letters that we're going to publish them and share 'em with other families. Because not only do I believe you, when you tell me I can do something, I know it's supposed to happen and every child should have an opportunity to read these kind of letters.

[00:08:43] Nathan: So we post them. That was the reason that I'm here with you today because my son published these letters and people like what's the big deal. You writing your son letters and I didn't know at the time, but I was the only father, second father in the history of the world, write their son letters over the history of their child's lifetime.

[00:08:59] Nathan: Wow. 

[00:09:00] Matt: Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah. So with that, did you ever do that exercise? with your wife to say, I wanna be the best husband in the world, but you're the only one that can decide that . So can you tell me what I need to do to be a better husband? I 

[00:09:16] Nathan: did not do the exercise as, as formally as I have with my son, but I've asked, had not asked and had those conversations.

[00:09:24] Nathan: Okay. 

[00:09:24] Matt: With my wife. Absolutely. Okay. Yeah. Good. I've been thinking about having some like once a month war room conversations with my wife, just to say, Hey, if this gets heated, it gets heated, but we need to talk about some things. I ask 

[00:09:37] Nathan: my wife, this, I ask her, are you date ready? That's the question we have.

[00:09:44] Nathan: It's just, are you date ready? Which is to say if you were single today, Would you be the person that people would swipe right. Or swipe left . 

[00:09:52] Matt: Okay. Okay. 

[00:09:55] Nathan: And because what we do sometimes when we get married is, I don't know how long you've been married. I've been married 29 years. We get settled into being something other than what we promised that we would be when we.

[00:10:08] Nathan: like my wife and I promised ourselves that we would stay fit. We had this thing, we called it AAF, which was fat and fired. If you get X number of pounds overweight, like this is, these are grounds for termination it seemed utterly ridiculous to our friends and so forth. But it was a, it was like drawn a line and stand about some standards that we wanted the other person to uphold.

[00:10:27] Nathan: Then we get comfortable in relationships and we forget. So I'd ask her and she could ask me, are you date ready? Are you the best version of you that you could be? Are you presenting that version to me? If you're not, then you're cheating me. Why would you get ready for a date for somebody you don't know and not be ready for the person who you dedicated, set, you dedicated your life to.

[00:10:48] Nathan: Be with. Wow. 

[00:10:51] Matt: Okay. I like that. I like that. 

[00:10:53] Nathan: You can tell your wife. I said it and say, you can stay outta trouble. I will 

[00:10:57] Matt: just say, Hey, let's watch this interview. Sometimes after an interview, I call her in and say, we're gonna re-watch this right now together to sit here so that you can hear everything.

[00:11:07] Matt: I just heard. So that when I say something, you know where it's coming 

[00:11:10] Nathan: from? Yes, Ms. Now you, we did, we do, we did for Ivan about the first 15 years of our son's life until he left home at 16. We used to have an annual family retreat. So the beginning of every year we would create our family mission statement, mission, vision statement, and to see, make sure that what we wanted to happen if we were still on track for that.

[00:11:30] Nathan: So we'd set 10 year goals every year, five year goals. Three year goals. What we hope to happen in the year, what we have, what we hope to happen in the six months. And we'd we ask the child to do that too. So we, the three of us would do that. Okay. 

[00:11:47] Matt: Okay. Wow. That's probably something I should start doing together is start setting family goals too.

[00:11:53] Matt: I like that idea. 

[00:11:54] Nathan: Yeah. You'll be surprised your four year old and your seven year old have these big audacious hopes and dreams. and the, and they'll be on track to make 'em happen. The only thing that'll happen is we sabotage them. 

[00:12:06] Matt: Okay. Yeah. I've found that to be the case. It's I've gotta watch what I say about the things that my kids want and not ever tell them that something is absolutely.

[00:12:19] Nathan: Absolutely. Think about this. I'm a kid from, I'm a guy who grew up in Gary, Indiana grew up in a home that very marginal, very meager existence broken batter, abusive home and grandparents that didn't go to high school. parents who just finished high school. And I went off to school and earned three degrees and now have a son who, at 16 left, the country could speak four languages, tested the top 1%.

[00:12:47] Nathan: And all of those things happen because you stop. You refuse to believe that nothing is. Okay. 

[00:12:55] Matt: All right. So when you it does sound like you doing some forward thinking every morning in your journals is helpful. 

[00:13:02] Nathan: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:13:03] Matt: It's it's sounds like it's guiding your life.

[00:13:07] Nathan: Absolutely. Absolutely. It certain, most certainly is a guide. And when you don't have a guide, I didn't have a guide before. But what I did, Matt, I was giving my son tools and strategies and techniques to make his life great. And I wasn't applying them to myself. Okay. And one day I had enough opportunity to speak to some students in California and the students.

[00:13:30] Nathan: And I was explaining to them that every day I asked my son's name is name. I asked him to get up and I ask him to affirm who he is and write this stuff in the journal. And he's been journaling and visualizing stuff since he was. And they were like, wow, this is really cool. He's here in the room. He's here in the room with us too.

[00:13:47] Nathan: And then they said do you do it? And I was like, no,

[00:13:51] Nathan: So I've been just getting by, by being lucky. And, Seneca says luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. And I'm like, I probably could do a better job of. better prepared for the next opportunity. I'm sure I've had some opportunities that I weren't prepared. And thus, I wasn't, as lucky as I could have been.

[00:14:14] Nathan: So I started applying what it was. I was asking my son to do. I created a vision board for myself that I'd never had before. And then I had it produced one, it was like five feet by six feet. And one was four feet by five feet. And one, it went over my bed. That's three foot by four foot and one is still my mirror and it's on my phone and it's on my computer screen.

[00:14:34] Nathan: And so it had all these things that I wanted to all these things that I wanted people to know me as when my time. and and I've been chasing those things on the vision board. And so daily I write and oftentimes it ends up being about something that's on the board. 

[00:14:49] Nathan: Okay. So let me ask you about that process.

[00:14:53] Nathan: Do you have any system that you use to write in the journal? Any pattern that you follow that you wrote out that says, I think about this first, I think about this second, et cetera. 

[00:15:04] Nathan: yeah, I'm gonna send you, I'll send you a. It's called journey forward. So when we're, I wish I'd have thought about it.

[00:15:09] Nathan: I would sent it to you before, so you can see it. What I do is I'm gonna, again, I'm not a, I'm not a neuroscientist, but I do know enough of the stuff about what to do with the brain to maybe explain it in the late person's form that we have 60 to 70,000 thoughts every day, 90% of those thoughts are things that we thought the previous.

[00:15:31] Nathan: The only way to think something differently is to intentionally program your mind to think differently. So what I do when I wake I try my best, although I don't have to do it as much anymore. I've mastered this part. I try not to talk to anybody. I try not to receive any thoughts, any words from an email don't turn on the TV to see what's going on with the news and whatever.

[00:15:53] Nathan: And I just sit. And I'll hear something and then I'll go right about it. Okay. And I'll spin, I'll set the clock. It used to be 14 minutes. It's closer to 20 and I'll just write stream of consciousness. What, whatever comes to my mind. Okay. But because I've been doing it so much, I know that there are some themes that are gonna appear in almost.

[00:16:17] Nathan: I'm gonna talk about helping, serving and making sure other people know that their lives matter. I'm gonna talk about this group of people that I call the least of us. I know the Bible says the least of those. I say the least of us, cuz I don't want to exclude myself. From being amongst the least that kind of thing changes the way.

[00:16:35] Nathan: Like you're looking down at people and talking down to people now I'm not I'm right with you. So those things appear. You'll hear me talk about my physical health. You'll see me talk about financial health, but not. When I talk about wealth, I'll talk about it, but it's not like everyone else talks about wealth.

[00:16:51] Nathan: Wealth for me means not owning anybody wealth for somebody else is an accumulation of assets so much so that I deprive other people from having stuff that's not, I just I don't want to owe anybody. So you'll those things appear and then about being about wisdom. And so then when I'm thinking about that, I'm imagining, Hey, maybe I imagine having a conversation with Matt and I might in my mind have the conversation.

[00:17:16] Nathan: In the journal about the conversation I had with you. Okay. Or interviewed with, and speak to Cornell west or interviewed, and I'm speaking on Fox news or whatever. And I just, that's what I do every day. 

[00:17:28] Matt: Okay. So when you write this out, and then you go on with your day, do you feel that it does change your mindset?

[00:17:34] Matt: It changes the way you think about things and it focuses your thinking on what you're supposed to be. 

[00:17:39] Nathan: I do. I do think it makes you chase your words. You can't write it so you can think it to yourself and not share it and not say it when you write it, it does something different. And then when you write it and share it with other people then now these other people are calling on you to be true to what you said.

[00:17:58] Nathan: So daily now, thereby I dunno, 50 to a hundred people who read these journals that I. And so people like you would say, Hey, what are you doing? And I'd say, Hey, I'm writing this journal and they'd say what does it look like? And I'm like, fine. I'll send it to you. And then I'll send it to some folks.

[00:18:13] Nathan: And they just say keep sending them like, Hey, don't stop. . So I kept sending them and a friend of mine, her name is Robin Dr. Robin Henderson, Wilson. She said, I read these every morning, right after I read my daily. It. And she said, it feels like the same thing. Although you have a different, slightly different style said, don't worry.

[00:18:34] Nathan: I don't, I'm a, I'm not, it's not intended to be a religious document, but she says, Hey, you should write action items and you should put reflection statements. And so I said, Robin, I'm not doing any of that. It's enough for me to get up every day and write these for this 20 minutes. And then now I gotta proof it.

[00:18:51] Nathan: Cuz now he wanna read. and I said, but if you want to do it, have at it. And about a year later she had 55 entries and it became the book. Okay. And then she said, after hearing will Smith's book him reading his book. She says, and she, my wife, my mom, my son, other folks start saying, you know what? You should do the same thing.

[00:19:15] Nathan: So now it's an audio version. So now I do, write it. And then I do an audio. Of the journal as well. All right. To, to music and whatever each 

[00:19:25] Matt: morning. Nice. Just a side note, is this stuff public, is this stuff that my listeners could get 

[00:19:30] Nathan: ahold of in any way, I'm gonna send it to you. You and I can maybe talk about how to do it.

[00:19:34] Nathan: I've been told that I need to do something else with it. She, I need to find a way to make it available to other people. I'm completely, I'm happy to do it. I just never thought of it like that. This was just about my own mental health and figuring out how not to be caught living in the past and how to stay present.

[00:19:52] Nathan: And be hopeful for the future. It wasn't. I never thought about it. Anybody else would care to see it or read it or listen to it, but now it appears that I was wrong. So yeah, I hopefully we'll turn it into a pod, a podcast or something where people can listen to it on a daily basis. I 

[00:20:09] Matt: right. I, no I love it.

[00:20:11] Matt: Man, I've got so many questions for you. This is amazing. I'm a big journaler and I'm a big fan of having journals. I started in 2019. Jim Roone. I so Jim RO talked about journaling a lot. And it just inspired me to go get it. I did it that day and I haven't stopped. Do you, after you write these, you said you, you had your friend talk about you should be writing action statements and setting your goals and making your checklists and all that kind of stuff.

[00:20:39] Matt: And you're like, I don't need that, but you also seem like a guy who gets things. You do the things that, that need, so you weren't worried about that cuz you're already getting things done. Sure. Did does you getting up in the morning and getting focused on the future help with that? The journaling.

[00:20:57] Matt: Does the journaling help with your to-do list? Let's 

[00:21:00] Nathan: say, yeah. So there's two things that I primarily want to do. You said when you asked me earlier, you said, Nate, what do you. The things that I want to do, I don't want to be known as a financial advisor. It's been a, that is not to say I don't wanna dismiss it.

[00:21:14] Nathan: It's been a fine career. I've made Ford's really good relationships. I've been a part of a process. Helping people have helped themselves. And I am just a tool that people use to get to another place. I don't, I'm not a guy who says look, how much money you. Working on me. No, you went to work every day.

[00:21:31] Nathan: Matt, not me. All you did was call me and ask me to help you strategically allocate your portfolio or to put where to put stuff in a bucket or whatever. And I tell people sometimes a monkey could do that. So then monkeys do pick stocks and generally they do better than people lost. I've read that.

[00:21:49] Nathan: So I'm like that. I haven't done anything. Fabulous. I've maintained. Great relationships. That part has been good. What I want to do moving forward. I just wanna write, and I just wanna speak, I wanna have conversations, interesting conversations with people like you, as often as possible. I want to be able to go places and speak in front of large audiences and help people do things that allow them to live their life.

[00:22:13] Nathan: Just that they always imagine. But that's what I wanna do. So the writing in the journal helps me with that cuz every day I'm writing. And you can't be a great writer if you don't write. So every day I write and now the audio versions, I think help me with speaking because if you're gonna speak all the time you have to have practice speaking.

[00:22:31] Nathan: So now the I'm doing these journals and there's no one in the room. So in some ways it's a little bit like performance art. I'm checking my cadence and how I annunciate words and pausing for right. For. Creative reflection and all that kind of stuff. So it is very helpful to me. Yeah. 

[00:22:50] Matt: That's yeah.

[00:22:51] Matt: That's gonna make you a better and better public speaker and that's gonna be, that's gonna be awesome. So how much before I move on, like I said, I got a million questions for you. Go ahead. I wanna do a sidebar. I wanna get some advice from you. Oh, is that right? is that okay? You can get, just give me what your best.

[00:23:08] Matt: It is. Cool. Go ahead, coach. Coach me for a second. So I was writing on paper journals. Okay. And I loved it. And at the end of every single journal I get I can't remember what they're called. It's a German name. 1917. It sounds but anyway, at the very end, I haven't have my kids take the last two pages and write something or draw something or whatever.

[00:23:27] Matt: So for the last three years, at the end of every journal, I've got something from my kids in there on the back page. And, sometimes I let 'em write in it, just in the middle, but it's definitely I can go through the back page of any of my journals. Then I bought an iPad with an apple pencil.

[00:23:43] Matt: And I love it. And I started doing all that stuff where I'm like, a. Really cool journal entry with like bullets and little pictures, and there's a lot of stuff highlighted and all that. And I've been doing that and having so much fun. And now it's like for the last three months, really it's been three months.

[00:24:00] Matt: I've spent far too much of mental power on this issue, but it is a struggle back and forth between a paper journal in the iPad. What would you have to say about that? 

[00:24:10] Nathan: I don't write on the, on paper, my handwriting. is too illegible that at times I have to go I'm like, what exactly did I write? Because if in the stream of consciousness, I'm just trying to hurry up and get something down.

[00:24:29] Nathan: And then so I'm like, okay. I don't even know what I wrote. So now I write it in a word document. Okay. And when I'm done, I transfer it to this app called journey. It's okay. And so it uploads everyth. to the cloud. And then the people who read the journal, I just sent it to them in an email and attach a link for the audio version of it.

[00:24:51] Nathan: Okay. Wow. But you got something really cool. And it was like, the first thing I thought of was like the the journey with my kids or me and the kids' journey. And it's your journal about what you were doing and them drawing images, and you probably could have discussions about. You was going through your mind, that particular day of what your children were thinking about on that particular day for families to reflect on that themselves.

[00:25:18] Matt: Yeah. Yeah. I think I might have answered my own question. I really think I remember when my seven year old saw that I was journaling on the iPad. She got sad. Oh. Because she loved paper. She loved doing it on paper and she journal. Not consistently. I should probably train her to do it consistently and remind her, but and I think she's just following her dad's footsteps by journaling.

[00:25:44] Matt: So when she saw me doing on the iPad, she was sad and I'm thinking, you know what, it's probably worth it just for my daughter's sake that I just keep doing it on paper. You 

[00:25:53] Nathan: can always give her paper. And she can still do the images. You 

[00:25:57] Matt: right. I could, but I don't know. There's something organic about paper.

[00:26:00] Matt: This is my struggle. Really. I tell myself if this is the worst thing I'm worried about, I got a pretty good life. 

[00:26:06] Nathan: Say don't complicate it because when you're done and you decide to publish it, you'll the whoever you or the publisher will figure out a way to get the images. That's true.

[00:26:16] Matt: . So in your note to me, as we initially started this conversation, you said that journaling helps kinda stave off depression. Is that something that you've struggled with? 

[00:26:28] Nathan: Yes. Yeah. I was first diagnosed as being depressed in 1995. I wanna say in October. November of 1995 and the solution for it at the time was to put me on some kind of medication was I think at the time it would've been probably Prozac or Lin because it seems like that's what every doctor was prescribing for everybody for everything.

[00:26:53] Nathan: Yes. And I said, no, I know why I'm depressed. I have this job that I can't stand. I work for some people that I detest the answer is not a found, gonna be found in appeal. The answer is gonna be found and be finding some alternative things to do until I can find another job. So I started, started exercising, cuz I, I learned about, what it does with your endorphins.

[00:27:16] Nathan: I changed my diets. I, I started to do everything I was in. I just started to do some different things to, to help me to move along in 2008, had a similar depressed period. My one of my very closest friends committed suicide. I felt responsible his birthday and my birthday are the same day.

[00:27:36] Nathan: Wow. So after my son's birthday, which is June 27th, my birthday's July 15th, between June 27th and July 15th. My, the levels of depression just mean I just kept dropping further and further to like, not wanting to get outta bed. I wouldn't want to talk to anybody the whole night. And one day I found the, write the stuff about journaling here I am with these students and I'm asking my.

[00:28:00] Nathan: Hey, don't let tomorrow beat you twice. Mean yesterday. Beat you twice. Okay. Yeah. I love it yesterday. It's done. And to borrow from Rafiki and the lion king, when he hits Simba in the back of the head, he said, what's that for? He says, doesn't matter. It was in the past. And so that's what journaling.

[00:28:17] Nathan: Then allowed me to do okay. I tried to do it. I tried to journal the way most people journal, which is oftentimes what didn't go right. And so aggravated me, this didn't go right to yesterday or today, blah blah. And I was like, I'm not gonna do that was all I'm doing is carrying yesterday forward.

[00:28:35] Nathan: I'm just letting yesterday beat me again. Or I'm being diluted by the fact that I had a great day because I had a great day yesterday has no bearing on what's. Today. And so I started to journal differently and okay. I'm gonna journal based upon what I want my life to be no matter what else is going on.

[00:28:51] Nathan: And that's been hugely helpful. Okay. I apologize again, if that's a long answer, 

[00:28:56] Matt: I, that is an excellent answer. The length doesn't really matter. It was quality. It was quality, right? I think it was helpful to a lot of people and I love the phrase. Don't let yesterday beat you twice. That is that's a beautiful thought to have floating around in your head.

[00:29:11] Matt: There are times that I wish I've written down the thoughts that I like to have floating around in my head and and I deep just letting the negative ones fly. It just I've learned from a lot of actually being coached on this podcast to be oh, how do I wanna say it?

[00:29:27] Matt: Like like the Zen meditation thing now I don't really meditate, but I do let the thought come and just observe it. Realize that thought is not me. It's just a thought. It's just a thought and then let it go. And so that has helped, but don't let yesterday beat you twice. That's in there now forever.

[00:29:47] Matt: Just so you know, that's says such a, 

[00:29:50] Nathan: never heard it. It's mine. I've heard, I think I've heard someone else say it. It may not have said it exactly like that, but the point of it is the past. There's nothing we can do about the past. We can learn from it. We can hopefully improve upon. But there's nothing you can it's over.

[00:30:06] Nathan: It's just nothing you can do about it. I was sharing, I think you can see it now with sharing the division board okay. I wanted you to see that. Yeah, 

[00:30:12] Matt: there's that? That is excellent. wow. 

[00:30:15] Nathan: Let me get rid of me for a second until you can see it. 

[00:30:19] Matt: You gotta take a screenshot of that. I have thought about making a vision board and I have just not done it yet.

[00:30:26] Matt: I went, the the website designer, Wix designer, Wix. No it's called Wix w I X, but anyway it's a really easy website designer and they give. Yeah. Yeah. They give it to you for free. If you let them put their ad at the top . So I use that as a free website and I just created my own private vision board on the website.

[00:30:46] Matt: Okay. So that I can go down and scroll through the pictures and stuff. But I think that just like with the electronic journal or the paper journal, I think having an actual vision board being a physical presence in your. In my life, at least absolutely is gonna be more beneficial than something that I could forget to do.

[00:31:03] Matt: If I've got a five by five board behind my computer screen, I'm gonna I can't avoid it. I can't be like, I don't feel like scrolling through that thing today that I made you 

[00:31:13] Nathan: cannot. And an interesting thing also that goes along with it is that the people in your life. It, and they will look at it and they will hold you accountable to it.

[00:31:24] Matt: Have you had instances where let's say your wife knew what she wanted and she was holding you accountable because you weren't doing anything about it 

[00:31:31] Nathan: all the time. It is not just her it's everybody. So I, you, I'll say in my journal I'm here to help serve and make sure others know their. Matter.

[00:31:40] Nathan: And then I'll be somewhere and someone will say, I'm like, man, I don't. And they'll like, yo, but you're here to help serve. Make people know their lives are better. I'm like, oh my God. Make it stop already. So yeah it, it appears so I you did, you are gonna be a pool surprise winning writer.

[00:31:55] Nathan: Huh? So did you write today, Nate? We didn't get a journal today. Did you write. . Yeah, but I just didn't share. If you're gonna be a pull, surprised like you, you gotta write and people have to read it. So hurry up, send it over. You didn't do an audio journal today. Nate, are you okay? Yeah, I'm fine. I just, I was outta town.

[00:32:12] Nathan: We're waiting, we you're back now. So you could do audio J. . Yeah, so people will hold you. They will hold you 

[00:32:20] Matt: to it. Okay. That's beautiful. So to me, that's a beautiful thing. What you were just describing, having your friends and your network holding you accountable, but even to the point where if you don't do something, they're like, Hey, you okay?

[00:32:35] Matt: You didn't 

[00:32:35] Nathan: do your yeah. And to prize what ends up. Is becomes, it becomes a reciprocal relationship that, that now they're saying, okay, not only we're holding you accountable, but you've inspired us to create our own vision board. You've inspired me to wanna lose 10 pounds. You've inspired me to. I'm like, okay that's, to do something that I always said I wanted to do, but I always made excuses for not doing it.

[00:32:59] Nathan: Now. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business and I've not done it. And now I'm gonna at least try, I've done this or met a friend, a woman who took a little course that we created and she published her first book. And so that was something that she wanted to do. yeah, the journal, the vision board now made other people hold me accountable, but then also give me the chance to help hold other people accountable.

[00:33:25] Nathan: Wow. I love 

[00:33:26] Matt: it. I think you have inspired me because I really I've had this vision board thing hanging on my head for a year and a half and it's it's now or never, baby. We're just gonna make it happen. 

[00:33:36] Nathan: And if you want, I've got that a template. So if you want a template of a template, that's from a user publish.

[00:33:42] Nathan: Or the youth publisher, but I, and I wrote myself a script on writing my vision board. And I'm happy to, I'm happy to share it with you. If you're interested in it. 

[00:33:51] Matt: I would absolutely love to see that. All right. That would be spectacular. Nate, if you had 43 seconds and you had the entire world on the line and they were all gonna understand what you said, what would you tell them?

[00:34:06] Nathan: Other than that we're all living our eulogy and we have to decide right now who we want to be when our time is up. 

[00:34:13] Matt: That's beautiful. That's beautiful. And just go for it short and sweet. Absolutely amazing. That's it. You got the other 42 seconds to chat with them and stuff. Say how you guys doing 

[00:34:24] Nathan: do something else.

[00:34:25] Nathan: I had an interesting conversation several years ago with someone from Ted. She's the, I think the national curator from Ted and I saw her at event and I was walking towards her to ask her a question and she says, looks at me and says, I'll give you three. I was like, I don't have a three second speech.

[00:34:43] Nathan: I got an elevator speech. I got a 32nd speech, but not a three second speech. So I went back and I'm like, I gotta figure out a three second speech. And I did. I wrote her a three second speech and mailed her a stopwatch that I set for three seconds. Beautiful. Correct. So yeah, you gave me 43. You gave me way more time than 

[00:35:02] Matt: I was

[00:35:03] Matt: That was actually 

[00:35:04] Nathan: no, I've been coached. I've been coached on. 

[00:35:07] Matt: That's perfect. You nailed it. I really appreciate it. . I'm 

[00:35:10] Nathan: not, I don't have a particular goal other than. Be of service. And again, like I said, I know to sound cliche. I do think that there are things I have, that I do that can be helpful to people. The difficulty that I find is that we have so much noise going on. And so many people that propose to be experts in something that you oftentimes can't lend your assistance to people.

[00:35:32] Nathan: And that's all I want to do. Matt. I have a son, I talk about him a lot. I'm here with you again because of him, but because I had the foresight before he was born to write Harvard for an application to use the application from Harvard to backward design that child's life, such that when my son was 16, he met the academic qualifications of Harvard.

[00:35:54] Nathan: He tested in the top 1%. He was fluent in four languages, conversational with two other languages had started his own foundation as a 14 year old and decided that he didn't want to go to. He wanted to go off and chase his dream of playing professional soccer. He moved to Brazil. He played soccer in Brazil.

[00:36:10] Nathan: And in Germany, when he returned, he said, I'm ready to go to school. He applied to 31 of America's top engineering schools. He was accepted to 27 of 'em. He had scholarships from all of them as $10.8 million in scholarship money that this one person high. And he attended Santa Clara university. He turned down attending schools like Stanford and so forth.

[00:36:31] Nathan: He goes to Santa Clara because Santa Clara is. The Dean, the associate provost and engineering professors all meet with him to tell him what they thought he could accomplish. In three, four years, he earns three science degrees, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering.

[00:36:48] Nathan: He then applies for PhD. He gets accepted by seven of the nation's top PhD programs. They all offer him full fellowships. He's a fifth getting start his fifth year carne. That's another 7 million. So it's like $17.8 million. And that's what I've been trying to share. That's what I started off trying to share with parents.

[00:37:08] Nathan: I said, listen we did it. I'm a, nobody. I'm a kid from Gary who was the best I was expected to do was go work in the steel mill or join the military. I've raised this child. Who's lived an incredible life. Let us just show you how to do it, but there's so much noise around that. You. Like you can't get people ordinarily to listen to share.

[00:37:30] Nathan: So that's all I've been wanting to do. It's just, I can't give back to people, Matt, there are five people who helped me in my life. I tell parents that they should create this thing. And then we, you and I should have this thing called a starting five that all of us need at least five people in our.

[00:37:44] Nathan: As if we were imagining ourself being a basketball coach, you wanna put in your best five players, your point guard, you're shooting guard, small for power for center. We need those kind of people in our life. Somebody who points us in the right directions, guards, all the hopes and dreams. Someone who's inspirational tells us to shoot for the moon.

[00:38:00] Nathan: If you miss you'll follow on the stars. Although I don't really like that, but people say that someone who's a small. Make sure you dot all the I's and cross all the Ts, somebody who power who's the power for who pushes you for even when you don't want to do it, especially when you don't want to do it.

[00:38:16] Nathan: And then lastly, there's a center or a center influence. And so we all need that. So we positioned that for my son, but it's based off the people who help me to get outta Gary to finally get to college, to then, have the opportunity like today to meet with you. But that's really it. I just want to be able to give.

[00:38:33] Nathan: And I can't give back to them cuz they are either deceased or one's alive, but they don't need, there's nothing that I could give them. This is the best I could do is spend by paying it forward. That's 

[00:38:44] Matt: beautiful. So if if people wanted to get ahold of you how would they do that? 

[00:38:49] Nathan: You know how to find me 

[00:38:50] Matt: very I do.

[00:38:52] Matt: I do. I do. 

[00:38:52] Nathan: I just have a website right now. I'm, we're working on trying to find a way. Be more visible because I've not done a good job of that, but the website's NATHANIELATURNER.COM. That's the simplest, that's the simplest way. I'm not very good on any social media platform.

[00:39:11] Nathan: I have them, but I'm not active as some people are, I'm supposed to change that I'm told. 

[00:39:17] Matt: Nate, it has been amazing talking to you today. This has been a very valuable conversation. My listeners are going to love this. And hopefully they'll be getting ahold of you if or listening to whatever you have out there, any content, and visiting your website. Thanks a lot. If you need anything, I'd love to have you back on the show sometime in the future. 

[00:39:37] Nathan: Just say the word I'm here. 

[00:39:38] Matt: All right. We will go from there. Thank you so much for being on the show.