Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Nathaneal Garrett Novosel author of The Meaning of Life...
In this episode Nathaneal Garrett Novosel studies what brings us meaning...
In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Nathanael Novos. I ask Nathanael to share with you how he wrote his book “the Meaning of Life”. I also ask him to share how happiness is NOT the meaning of life. Nathanael also shares with you why purpose is so important.
Join in on the Chat below.
SNS 139: Saturday Night Special â€“ Interview with Nathaneal Garrett Novosel on his book The Meaning of Life
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on tonight's Saturday night, special episode 138.
[00:00:06] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Hello, this is author Nathaniel, Garrett Novosel. And I'm here with my friend Scott Mader and his inspired at stewardship podcasts. We both have a goal of helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their lives. And if you're interested in developing your self others and using your time more effectively to live out your calling, then please check out his podcast inspired stewardship pocket.
[00:00:28] so emotions equal your desire plus your belief plus your experiences. So to give an example, jealousy is a fun one for me to explain, because you basically want a person or thing. That's your desire. You believe that you deserve it or him or her.
[00:00:47] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcasts.
[00:00:52] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and [00:01:00] your treasures for your true column. In the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:13] and tonight, Saturday night special, I interview Nathaniel novice. I asked Nathaniel to share with you how he wrote his book, the meaning of life. Also ask him to share how happiness is not the meaning of life. And that Daniel also shares with you. Why purpose is no one area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity.
[00:01:40] Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really. I've got a course called productivity for your passion. That's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you [00:02:00] can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.
[00:02:07] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your personnel. Because the truth is a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type.
[00:02:25] But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work, but there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone. And we help you do that in productivity for your passion. Check it out firstname.lastname@example.org slash law. Nathaniel has been analyzing the drivers of human sense of meaning for over 30 years.
[00:02:48] And his book dissecting the eight core factors has one over 11 book of the year awards and accolades. Additionally, Nathaniel has been advising the world's leading executives [00:03:00] for over 17 years and was recognized as advisor of the year in 2019. That Daniel's mission is to help any and all people who are looking for more meaning in their lives to have unbiased support in figuring it out for themselves.
[00:03:16] Welcome to the show,
[00:03:17] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Nathaniel, thank you so much.
[00:03:20] Scott Maderer: So Nathaniel, you've written this book, writing it called the meaning of life. How has your personal journey and history led you to this point of writing a book with that as
[00:03:36] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: the subject? Sure. So it all started when I was five. My father disappeared in the middle of the night and we didn't hear from him for six months.
[00:03:44] Now I don't remember how I felt back then. Cause it was five and that's when your memories are forming. But I went out to see him. He moved to California for three weeks and two days. And when I came back, I was six. By that point I came back to Pittsburgh and that [00:04:00] first night I felt like someone ripped my heart on my chest and I just felt miserable and hopeless.
[00:04:04] And I just was wondering, what is the point of all this, if we're just going to suffer like this. And it was at that point that there's a juggling call it the robotic part of my brain, this dispassionate commentary going. That's a fascinating question. I wonder if you can answer that. And so that was where my journey began as I, I thought that was an interesting question.
[00:04:25] I'm wondering if it could be answered. And so I started studying everything. I could get my hands on. Psychology philosophy, religions studied behavioral economics eventually and install these other related fields, even like evolutionary psychology and biology. Trying to understand how life worked and about 20 some years later I was leaving a company.
[00:04:46] I advise executives for living. And I asked myself what information would I impart from all that knowledge I had gained? And I was like what are the keys to success? And I started in these ideas, started popping into my head [00:05:00] and I was like, wait a second. I called back to that question 20 odd years ago where I said, actually these are not the, just the key drivers of success.
[00:05:08] They're the key drivers of finding your life to be meaningful. And so that was that like mind blown moment where. This is it, this is the this is a scientifically sound explanation of how you can find more meaning in your life. And I started writing it down and three iterations. I identified that there are eight core components that you had to understand and master, if you wanted to live your most meaningful.
[00:05:34] Scott Maderer: So obvious question you don't need to go into deep dives on them, but what are those eight areas that
[00:05:41] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: you discovered? Sure. I'll give you a kind of a short version where I say them and explain what they are. So the eight are the meaning of life is growth. You grow through experience, experiences, the medium through which growth occurs.
[00:05:56] You are guided toward your experiences and [00:06:00] growth areas that you desire your desires, the driving force, your belief is the sustaining force toward your goals through adversity, your emotions are your feedback mechanism telling you whether you're growing or being harmed. Your ethics are the way that you identify the optimal way to grow with other living organisms, other humans in this case.
[00:06:23] Your support are the support you give or the support you receive to increase your growth, theoretically, exponentially from what you would be able to do alone. You're not building the pyramids or self-driving car by yourself anytime soon. And then finally choice everything you do is a choice and your destiny is a, some of the way that you direct your thoughts, your actions those sorts of things toward the growth areas that you choose to focus on or not.
[00:06:50] Scott Maderer: And you mentioned an emotion in there is being part of the feedback mechanism. And I think for most people, when they hear things like the meaning of life, they begin to [00:07:00] look towards things like happiness. That I feel good joy, whatever names we want to give that and different emotions.
[00:07:09] How do you think those fit in terms of feedback mechanisms and what mistakes do we make when we look at emotions as the meaning of life?
[00:07:20] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah. I have a way to prove that happiness is in fact not the meaning of life, through a little thought exercise sides. If you entertain me here.
[00:07:29] Sure. So what is the purpose of going to school?
[00:07:32] Scott Maderer: Do you, so hopefully it's to learn and gain knowledge, but oftentimes it's because people force you to go to school.
[00:07:41] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah. You are correct. It's to learn. But here's the, here's why I
[00:07:44] Scott Maderer: hope as a school teacher for 16 years not everyone's there for that,
[00:07:49] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: but here's the interesting question.
[00:07:51] That's going to make sense with regard to happiness. Why didn't you say the purpose of school is to get an, a. The reason I [00:08:00] didn't say that is because again, as a school teacher, I feel like the grades are often an arbitrary system set up to measure what is somewhat subjective.
[00:08:11] Because it's a measurement of whether you learned, it's not the goal, it's a metric or measurement or feedback mechanism.
[00:08:19] That's what emotions are. So when people say the meaning of life has to be happy, that is actually false. If they say the meaning of life is to find what makes you happy. That's actually true because. What makes you happy is the growth enabling experiences that you have. And so happiness is the a in this analogy.
[00:08:35] You're not here to get an a, in fact, they've already hacked the brain. Now you can actually go to a psychologist and actually have the part of your brain that experiences euphoria tapped into. And you can experience euphoria for the rest of your existence until you die of starvation or thirst.
[00:08:52] And obviously that's not the point if you've done that
[00:08:54] Scott Maderer: with, they've done that with rats and the little pill. The electrode and
[00:08:57] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: they starved to death and they did it with a human [00:09:00] being to when they were trying, I'm not saying it was ethical, but they were trying to reassign someone's sexual orientation.
[00:09:06] And they were having them look at pictures of the opposite gender and tapping into their brain and got them to feel euphoria. But that's not the point. Otherwise people would be doing drugs and having sex all the time and then it would just be one big, crazy sound, a pleasure palace, but it's not like that at all.
[00:09:23] Happiness, the true fulfillment you get from growth, enabling activities is the feedback and mechanism telling you that you're thriving. So yes, happiness is an outcome or feedback, but it is not the point. Just like the point of going to school. It's not again a it's.
[00:09:38] Scott Maderer: And I, happiness is also a very temporary state because people often feel, oh, I'm happy.
[00:09:44] Cause I got a new car, but that lasts more than a week, and that it's just a car again. It doesn't it doesn't say.
[00:09:53] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah. And that's the proof that growth is the point and not the happiness, because once you've attained that new thing, [00:10:00] it'll subside because if it didn't subside, then you would just feel happy with everything, with whatever you just got and you would never not be happy again.
[00:10:07] You would never do anything else if it like, while I'm happy. Why do I need to do anything else? It's the boredom. It's the feeling starting to feel unfulfilled again. It's that, that, that itch to do something more that gets you. To do something more to achieve the happiness again. So a lot of people think of happiness as the hedonic treadmill.
[00:10:25] But honestly, it's just a feedback mechanism to show that you're continually growing. So as long as you continue on the growth path, you'll be happy most of the time. But when you're not happy, that's a good, that's a good thing. That's an indicator to you. Hey, I need to do something else. Because that's that's what emotions are.
[00:10:43] Scott Maderer: And when we, when you think about an. Abstract that to a little bit of a different question. One of the questions that a lot of folks have too is around their purpose, their meaning their calling, whatever name you want to give it. And you, I think in the book, you refer to this [00:11:00] generation as the purpose generation.
[00:11:02] So why do you feel like purpose is so important today and why do people struggle and have that kind of crisis of finding their purpose? Sure.
[00:11:12] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: There are two sides of this. The first side is the whole the like good times bring complacency kind of thing. When when you live in a generation where your parents are telling you I all know I'm providing everything for you.
[00:11:29] You don't have to do anything. And then you live in this world where anything you want to just immediately provide for you. You don't have to work for anything really. It creates this weird system where you believe that work. Is bad. And you shouldn't have to do it. And yet then you feel unfulfilled and you wonder why it's because you start to think that life is about pleasures and toys and things like that and games and things.
[00:11:54] And it's not about actually bettering yourself and things like that. So this crisis of meeting occurs a lot [00:12:00] in this kind of environment because. People weren't taught the tools necessary to grow, whereas an oil and previous generations where you had to like work on a farm or something. You learn pretty quickly that the work led to growth led to your wellbeing for the wellbeing of the people around you.
[00:12:17] So you understood the value of that. And so the crisis of meaning is happening often due to that. But in terms of the purpose generation, is that. It's a combination of that, where people are feeling a lack of purpose, so they want it. So an entire generation of people who act like that, you create a generation of people looking for a purpose for impact for making the world a better place.
[00:12:36] Because there has to be something more than just the material pleasures and things like that. But more importantly if you think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, for example, or the hierarchy of needs, excuse me. So you go from biology to safety and so forth and go up to self actualization.
[00:12:52] And when all of your biological and safety needs, and maybe you have friends and maybe you find a loved one. And so there you go, you just move right up the [00:13:00] chain. And so I don't want to say easy, but it's a lot easier than it used to be to move up that chain. So now everyone's looking and say now I want to have a true impact on the world.
[00:13:09] It's just driving everyone toward finding that meaning. And of course, what do they find meaning? And it's always making the world a better place. What does that mean? Better is the key word growing. It's enabling the growth of others, making an impact beyond just yourself. And that's what makes us the purpose generation is because people are looking to find that impacts.
[00:13:29] Scott Maderer: So I, I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I move to that, let me ask you, is there anything else from the book or from this that you'd like to point to people or maybe that we missed in the questions that you'd like to share with the
[00:13:45] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: listener? Sure. I love to tell the story of how to figure out how or why you're feeling, what you're feeling at any given time, because it's such a magical formula.
[00:13:53] It's as scientific as two plus two equals four. All all emotions are a combination of [00:14:00] three things and they're eight factors. Three of them go into the, to the fourth one here. So emotions equal your desire plus your. Plus your experiences. So to give an example, jealousy is a fun one for me to explain, because you basically want a person or thing.
[00:14:18] That's your design. You believe that you deserve it or him or her and more importantly, you believe that other people don't deserve it as much as you do. And then the third experience is you see that person with that thing or person that you want, and then you feel jealous. Now here's the magic of it.
[00:14:37] And that is a formula that can be used in any scenario. If you change one of those aspects of the formula that jealousy goes away, if you don't really want the thing. If you're jealous, he goes away. Cause why would you be jealous of someone who has something you don't care about? You won't, if you don't believe that person doesn't deserve it, let's say you believe that the person overwhelmingly deserves it.
[00:14:59] Then you don't feel [00:15:00] jealous. You feel admiration because they're like, oh, I want to be like that person because they have this wonderful thing I want to have too. And then third, they experience the first thing you do is feel jealousy. What you do, you run away. It's to get away from it, to to to get up, hanging out with those people to stop being exposed to the thing that makes you jealous.
[00:15:16] Those are the three elements to your emotional state. Now, of course it gets more complexity that maybe you have conflicting desires and multiple conflicting beliefs, and that's all fine. Good. And you can explore that on your own but knowing that formula will change your life. If you have a hard time being in touch with your emotions.
[00:15:34] Scott Maderer: The. I think it's key to that. You're breaking that up and recognizing that those are three different parts of our experiences. Cause I think a lot of times people can FLATE desire. Belief and experience as one thing when they really are different.
[00:15:53] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah, you're absolutely right. And it bothers me.
[00:15:56] There were a lot of reasons why I wrote the book. And there are a few things [00:16:00] that bothered me about self-help books and religious books and things that, that I wasn't happy with. The biggest issue I had with. We are religious texts where that they conflated like the origin of life the goal of life ethics and how life works until a one system that you had to follow all or nothing.
[00:16:15] And it seemed those are different things and you should break them apart. But the one you're describing drives me nuts is most self-help books focus on one of those three things. Beliefs. Because everyone wants to hear someone telling them that you can do anything. They want those positive beliefs objecting them.
[00:16:31] They want to let go of those negative beliefs and don't know how so most self-help books they focus. Rightfully so on those areas, because it's not, you're not gonna sell a million copies of a book that. Want to less or want something else or Hey kid, maybe that's not the right thing for you.
[00:16:46] No one is going to buy that book. So I totally get it. But I use my book as a way to explain all three so that you can understand. And that you can actually change all three to change your emotional state. And it's more [00:17:00] than just the beliefs, although you are correct in saying that everything is perception, everything is how you perceive the world.
[00:17:05] So you can boil it down to that one, but it's better to unpack it, to really understand it
[00:17:10] Scott Maderer: well, and again, I think they are. Things not that they're independent of each other. Your formula links but it not being independent. Doesn't make things.
[00:17:22] One thing makes sense. To I am not independent of my biological systems, but I'm also not just my biological systems. There's more than that. Us. At least we hope
[00:17:37] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah. I talk about that in the choice chapter that there's this fight about determinism versus free will and that there are these, like fatalists who say everything is just the result of what happened before it.
[00:17:50] And that's just nonsense. Sorry, I like that idea that yes, it is true. I could not be talking to you right now. If my mother didn't give birth to me, but [00:18:00] that doesn't mean that my mother giving birth to me, caused me to behave in the way that I'm behaving right now. Yes, my genes are a manifestation or manifesting in the, in my body and my behaviors right now.
[00:18:10] But as we all know certain ways that you think certain experiences, certain behaviors, certain thoughts, they can unlock different parts of your genes and you choose what you focus on. You choose what you do. You choose your beliefs. You choose even you, you can even choose to be happy. You can choose happiness rather than focusing on miserable things.
[00:18:28] And all of those things will shape you much more after your genes already manifested than anything.
[00:18:35] Scott Maderer: And somebody with a background actually in genetics, I actually have a degree in genetics. One of the things that everyone always asks, is it nature or nurture? Geneticists stopped asking that question back in the thirties, it's like the answer is
[00:18:50] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: yes.
[00:18:50] Is it nature or nurture? It is
[00:18:53] Scott Maderer: it's most it's not one or the other. The question that we that a genetics person asks is. [00:19:00] Which is it, but rather to what degree are different things. And by these different things, that's really the question. But of course we have to make everything simple.
[00:19:10] So that's
[00:19:10] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: kinda what we try to do. I did the same thing in my book. I said, look, there are things you can control. There are things you cannot control. And if you want to find meaning in your life, it forget about the things you can't control and focus on the things you can and do the best you can to control them.
[00:19:23] And that. That sounds bad, but like to make them better. That's my point. And so I'm with you on that. Yeah. So my
[00:19:30] Scott Maderer: brand is about stewardship and one of the questions that I like to ask all of my guests is what that word means to them, because I've discovered over the years that different people hear that word and think different things.
[00:19:41] And of course, I'm curious what people are thinking when they hear that word. So what is the word stewardship mean to you?
[00:19:49] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Yeah. It's funny. Cause I, I advise heads of data analytics and there's something called data stewardship. And I always thought about stewardship as guiding people [00:20:00] toward better outcomes is what I was always thinking about it.
[00:20:02] So I actually have not been looked at definitions, so that's not what that means at all. Okay. Go me. But but no, yeah. Stand that the way that you're thinking about it, which is identifying the values, the behaviors, the beliefs, the different elements that you can focus on to make your life better, to, to care, and to nurture the the things within yourself that can make yourself the people you care about better off.
[00:20:25] And I'm I completely agree with that. But I asked the reason why I came with my perception of it is the fact that when you think about stewardship, when you think about it, usually think about it in terms of the old term they used to use for for flight attendants and things like that, and usually think about them caring for others.
[00:20:43] So I have this idea of trying to nurture other things or yourself in this case. Expanded on that definition to to foster growth, to foster a better outcomes in people and things. Yeah.
[00:20:58] Scott Maderer: So my favorite question [00:21:00] that I like to ask every guest is this one, let's say I could invent a machine today where I could grab you from where you are in travel, take you into the far future, maybe a hundred to 150 years and magically, you were able to look back on your own.
[00:21:14] And see all of the impacts and the ripples that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left
[00:21:21] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: on the world? I hope that the meaning of life book becomes one of those like tones that are talked about in terms of, oh, wow. This person really figured out how life works in a way that can help anyone make their lives more meaningful.
[00:21:36] And oh, what a great guy. He was that he did it in a way where he didn't try to impart his own personal beliefs or ethics on other people, or didn't tell people what their goal should be. And so this is a. The book to read first before you read other philosophies and other things, because you can actually see all these philosophies, or religions and so forth through the lens to understand what their interpretations are.
[00:21:59] [00:22:00] And then you can pick the one that best fits or create your own. That I helps people understand themselves and the world around them to live better lives, more meaningful lives. And then but I didn't try to like invent my own religion or anything like that. That's that's what I would like to see w and my future.
[00:22:17] So what's coming
[00:22:18] Scott Maderer: next for you, as you continue on your journey to living out your call and impacting the world.
[00:22:24] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: Sure. We recently released a book called the X factor the spiritual secrets behind successful executives and entrepreneurs. And that's a multi author book. I'm one of the authors and everyone talks a little bit about what made them into the great leaders that they are today.
[00:22:43] And like I said, I'm a senior director in. For executives. And I talked about my chapter's called do what you love what you do. And it talks about my journey and understanding how to enjoy what you're doing more so that you learn to love it. So [00:23:00] that you can know, because I can't do something.
[00:23:02] And care about. So I have to care, learn to care about if I'm going to have to do it. And then also learning what you love to do. So you can move toward a role or position or job or career or calling as you were putting it. That's a that's right for you. And it's a great story about how I try to figure it out cause I was I'm an indecisive person and went through that.
[00:23:21] That, that book came out recently. The meaning of life came out last year. You can go ahead and pick that up and then I'm also a, your meaning in life. It's my website. I have a blog there it's like second or third to mark Manson or whatever. And then my social media are at life, the book.
[00:23:38] Scott Maderer: So you can find out more about Nathaniel Garrett Novosel over on Facebook as at life, the book, or find out more about him and the book over at his website, your meaning life.com that Daniel, is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
[00:23:55] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: I just hope that you all out there are doing the best he can to [00:24:00] live a meaningful fulfilling lives.
[00:24:01] And just remember that your definition of success is your own and if you're ever feeling unfulfilled, it might be, you're trying to live someone else's definition of success. Maybe you've moved on and you need to change your life direction, and that's perfectly fine too. And that's all well and good.
[00:24:16] And also finally, don't over exert yourself. Don't take effort and growth as the same thing. Remember when you go and work out and lift weights, you grow through rest and eating after working out, not through the exercise itself breaks down your muscles. So don't forget the rest.
[00:24:33] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listened, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspired [00:25:00] stewardship.com/itunes rate.
[00:25:01] All one word. ITunes rate, it'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact
[00:25:24] Nathaneal Garett Novosol: the world.
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So emotions equal your desire + Your belief + Your experiences. – Nathanael Novosel
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