May 16, 2023

81: [HITS] Paul Millerd - Awakening From the Default Path

81: [HITS] Paul Millerd - Awakening From the Default Path

Paul Millerd⁠, author of The Pathless Path, joins me to talk about "default path" addiction and what it's like to awaken. As former management consultants, we dig hard into this arena too. Enjoy!


👉 ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Masterclass: escape the Corporate Cage⁠⁠

🌐 Show website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠UncageYourself.FM⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠



03:12 The Great Contemplation

06:21 How Paul's book affected Matt

08:25 The process of Awakening

09:51 Pre-awakening (most people trapped here)

15:58 Addiction to Default Paths

19:03 Value of an early-career foothold

21:56 "There's a pebble in my shoe"

23:51 Higher stakes if you're a parent

27:10 Understanding life tradeoffs

28:28 The Pathless Path

31:21 Uncertainty as a feature

33:10 Testing boundaries at work

38:31 The great work of your life

41:15 Minimal risk in betting on yourself

44:21 Thoughtful re-entry into corporate life

51:20 Rapid-fire

57:53 What's your "work" story?



1. Great Resignation might actually be the Great Contemplation: a rejection of scripted life, healthier conversation about our identification as "workers," and a desire to take control of your life.  

2. Rule of thumb: most people you'll meet are asleep (80%), some are groggy (15%), and a few are truly awake (5%).

3. The Protestant Reformation triggered an "obsession" with work, which has taken global hold. 

4. Aim of life for people came to find work and then hold on tight to that path.

5. The Default Path feels addictive because the start is so thrilling. Eventually, we stop growing and become sleepy.

6. Instead of doing the work, you eventually find yourself doing performative work (pretending to be valuable).

7. Tough for parents to fake it at work while simultaneously encouraging your kids to blaze their own path.

8. We can't let sunk costs weigh us down. Your life season hugely impacts what you should say "yes" to next.

9. Not knowing what comes next might actually be a feature, not a bug.

10. "If there are clear boundaries [at work], there is also great freedom to adapt and imagine within those lines. These boundaries, however, should always be tested to see if they are actually still real. It takes conscious acts by individuals to test these edges." —David Whyte

11. Great work of your life: continually find the great work of your life (Stephen Cope).

12. Know yourself: deliver targeted value inside your 9-5; push yourself for exponential growth in the outside world. 



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