The OneSixOne Podcast EP06 - Why do we need to unlearn?






Matt, Steph, Andy & Jared talk through the process of learning and unlearning things in life. On reflection is there anything you’ve had to unlearn in life? If so, what prompted you to unlearn? By unlearning, what difference if any have you noticed? If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Mentions: Ego is the enemy - Ryan Holiday, dedouze, Dalia Aldu, Saeed Al-Rubeyi, Ali Al-Hamadi, gotaquestionforyou, Ted Lasso

The OneSixOne Podcast

Co-founders of OneSixOne, Matt, Steph, Andy and Jared share their thoughts and conversations amidst the everyday madness of running a diverse creative agency. Recorded at The Qube, London. Produced by Tim Steemson. Theme music- ‘Lights Camera Action’ by meganeko. To keep up-to-date with the OneSixOne podcast, signup and subscribe via Spotify or Apple Music.

The Podcast Transcript

Matt Miller (00:00):
Hi friends and welcome to the OneSixOne podcast where we chat about stuff we've been talking in studio because we want to chat about it some more in the room today. We have Mitch the plants say, hi Mitch. We have Andy. Hey, we have Steph. And we have Jared. New order every week. That's the thing.

Jared Saar (00:49):
That's good. I like it. Do we have Matt though?

Matt Miller (00:51):
Oh yeah. I'm here. I'm Matt Miller. That's what we do, right?

Jared Saar (00:55):

Matt Miller (00:57):
That's good. Isn't it? Cause one episode six. So today's episode is a little bit different because episode five, we got a letter through we got some fan mail. So we got a letter. Should I read out again? Yes. Please refresh the memories.

Jared Saar (01:26):

Matt Miller (01:26):
Okay. 'Dear speakers from the OneSixOne podcast (Matt Steph, Andy and Jared). I just wanted to say how much I value what you've shared with the world. I felt comforted, encouraged and inspired by listening to your conversations. I thought I'd take this time to ask you a question or a few. So there's four questions. On reflection, is there anything you've had to unlearn in life? If so, what prompted you to unlearn by unlearning? What difference if any, have you noticed? And if you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?' So those are the four questions. So this whole episodes, we're going to attempt to answer these questions. So the following question is do they all stem from the first one? So like the last one is related to the first?

Stephanie Alcaino (02:27):
I guess they're all a product of addressing something that you have needed to unlearn.

Matt Miller (02:33):
Yeah. Cool. Should we get into it then let's get into it. So question one on reflection. Is there anything you've had to unlearn in life? I mean, before we even go there, we should probably say what unlearning is because we've probably all got different experiences, definitely a process of unlearning or even the definition of it. So unlearning this thing that we're talking about now.

Stephanie Alcaino (03:02):
Yeah. I mean, I think we're recorded the last podcast a Monday and then I basically spend the rest of the week and then the entire weekend thinking about it. Like I asked that question, why do we need to unlearn something? You know, where does unlearning come from? Well, really it's a by-product of the fact that we've learned something taken as fact and then came to the conclusion that it was wrong. And then it made me question, okay, what does it mean to learn something? Well, once you've learned something, it means that you've stopped considering it, you've found the answer and answers and a process and you put it aside going, okay, I've learnt that. So you don't question it again and that's a bit of a danger because you then don't re address your education even if it becomes outdated. Do you just carry that throughout your life and throughout your daily life?
So I think, you know, when we learn something we've stopped thinking about it, you know, we don't really address all audit, whether it actually was the wrong thing that we've learned over time. And I've realised that, you know, I then asked the question of going, okay, why do we receive wrong information? And the first one is, is well we sometimes passively receive information from others and we never question it for ourselves. We never fact checked it. And then on top of that, you know, we sometimes overestimate our self-assurance of the things that we do know. So we're just like, oh no, I know that. So I'm going to share my perspective on this, but we haven't actually considered it more deeply. And the third one is when we don't question things on a deeper level and go beyond going, do I understand this? Yes. Okay. The end. And we don't sort of follow it up with more questions. We don't consider things deeply enough to understand it better. If we don't question, you know, for example is my personality where it needs to be. Have I thought about some things I need to change? Do you actually progress forward in life? So I think if we walk around in life going, okay, I know the answers to the things that I know, and I don't need to learn anything else. Then we don't actually ever pursue growth and move forward. And we don't ever readdress the things that we might need to unlearn and set up again with the right foundations. So those were the processes in my head when it came to like thinking about these questions in itself.

Jared Saar (05:18):
Yeah. I think with learning, for me, it's quite an introspective thing. It's looking into yourself and asking, you know, is my viewpoint right now, unhelpful or helpful for me moving forward. And that can be a very quick thing, you know, just a quick snap decision that you realize. Now I need to pivot this way. And in my experience on learning sometimes is a real deep look at, am I seeing the world as it is, or as I am, you know, in that perspective of my experience, if I had gone through and learned something along the way that is marring my view of how life maybe actually it's and to help me make the decisions I need to make.

Andy Khatouli (05:53):
I mean, just from, I guess, for very basic understanding of unlearning, I guess, to put it in the context of like maybe a craft, for example, with, I dunno if you're a carpenter or something and you've been taught how to cut wood in a certain way or finish it. And then someone else comes along and shows you a better solution. Then there's this active engagement that you need to then go, okay, I need to abandon what I've previously understood as correct or useful or good and try to implement a new way of doing it. So I think unlearning can be quite difficult as a process because you're having to go against what your natural intuitions want to do. So it's not quite a straightforward process where you go, right. That's done with, now I'm starting something new often takes time to unpick away at those things and then to weave in something new, a new process or new way of seeing things. But for me, that has kind of a simple understanding of our learning as being able to go. Right. Okay. There's some things that are maybe not so helpful at this current time, this present time. I recognize is not good and therefore need to kind of gradually take those things away and be able to implement something new.

Stephanie Alcaino (07:11):

Matt Miller (07:12):
Yeah. And I think there's different scales to that as well. Isn't there because there's things that we're taught based on different philosophies and traditions east versus west, and you know a Christian upbringing, or if you grew up a Muslim. There's loads of different variances in terms of like how we learn and the information that we absorb and how that influences like our morality, our practice, our behaviors, all that kind of stuff. I think on a global level, there's definitely some unlearning going on because some people have been led to believe that this is the way things are and have natively walked through life, unaware of information, historical facts, and information that then when they're confronted with in a very visceral and physical way, they have to stop and consider because they're not allowed to move forward in that ignorance anymore because it personally affects their life or emotionally. So I think, yeah, unlearning is an interesting one. Some of it is probably on an academic level. Some of it is your, I think Steph is like things that you've absorbed unaware because of culture, because of tradition. Then you find yourself in a context or a circumstance where that doesn't add up and then you have to consider the alternative. It's not just a Facebook debate, you know, like your right, I've got this and you just write a comment and run away. I think we're living in a time, which is very confrontational. We're having to face things. There's more information out there than there's ever been before. And also our shared experiences on display, like the internet has shown what is going on all around the world, whether whatever continent you're on, you're aware of something that's going on and you have to now make a decision. So I think this is a really interesting topic.

Stephanie Alcaino (08:52):
So I've been reading this book called Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, which is a fantastic book, but there was one line that really stood out to me, which is, 'have you ever considered that your education is out of date?' That it's outdated. If you think about the speed of the internet and technology within the last 10 years? So it's been about over a decade from when I left school and how quickly technology has advanced, but then also within this last year of the pandemic, how much it's affected our lives and changed the requirements of how we live, you know, have we ever considered the fact that the things we know now may be outdated for where the world has advanced to and whether it's something that we need to reconsider or whether we just keep going and let culture dictate the things that we know. Kind of really made me think, and this is really going to show my true nerdiness, but I've picked up Othello by Shakespeare because I wanted to actually reread it through the lens of what I know now in regards to race and about oppression. I've actually found it quite interesting to actually relearn or see this play through a new lens, through my new found education. And how can I request than what I learned in school about this play versus what I know now. Super fascinating.

Matt Miller (10:16):
No, that's great. So now we've kind of unpacked a little bit, our perspectives on what unlearning is. Is there anything you've had to unlearn in life? That's the question?

Jared Saar (10:25):

Andy Khatouli (10:26):
Yeah, for me, it's quite a difficult one because kind of like what I was sharing before unlearning for me is not always the case of like I've actively engaged with something and therefore accepted that as the thing that I need to do. And then in hindsight decided, oh, that was stupid. I should probably change that. Sometimes for me, when reflecting on learning, it's something that I've just meandered into. It's just like, you just did it as part of life. You didn't, you didn't actively like try and study something and go, okay, I've learned the craft of... And then later on in, I've gone. Okay. That, that was wrong for me. It's just like, you just naturally ended up doing it and then you're going, wait a second. Why do I do that? So when reflecting on it, obviously there's a slight loads of crap in my life where like, gosh, why did I do that? But I think the one thing that stood out for me when I was reflecting was I've had to learn to say no to people. So I guess in the context of the question, I've had to unlearn to say yes to everything, if that makes sense. So a lot of that is probably because I guess it's a symptom of, I like to help people out, but also I like to people please. So there's the kind of pros and the cons there.
Maybe even the symptom of like having to prove myself because of my upbringing and that cultural context there. And then also I guess probably a symptom of being creative minded. So a bit of a visionary, I love to come up with solutions, but then on the flip side, there's my pride, which often will cause me to think I can fix stuff because I know better. So I've had to basically come to a place where I feel comfortable to say no to things or to people, even though I know fully well that I could do it. And the reason I've decided to exercise that well of choice a bit more is because I was exhausted, just tired. You know, over the years, I've burnt myself out of points where it's affected my physical health, my mental health it's affected my thinking as well in terms of like my creative output. I wasn't as sharp or as energetic as I was when I guess I had a little bit more control over my time. And I was growing a lot more anxious about time, which it sounds so stupid, but you know, I would clock watch, but the opposite. So instead of going, when is this going to finish? It's like, how much can I fit in the next hour? And then what can I do after that? And what can I do after that? So I was really driving myself into the grave because I didn't have the ability to say no, because of all these other things in the background, because I wanted to like prove myself or wanted to help someone or I felt like I knew better. So that's been the biggest lesson for me in the last few years.

Jared Saar (13:10):
Yeah. I think for me, like, you know, as mentioned coaching last podcasts and things like that, but the last few years I've been kind of fascinated by, I guess, books on the brain and why we think the way we do and really illuminated for me this idea of what I had to unlearn, because I stumbled across the topic of learned helplessness and how that really affects people's viewpoint on life and how we, I guess what Andy was saying, unpick, that unlearn that to then reestablish a viewpoint in life. And then I think the quickest example I can give because they only really coined the term. The sixties is the example of in the world when, it's a horrible thing, but they capture elephants, you know, baby elephants, they take baby elephants and they tied them to a post with a rope and the elephant for the first three or four days as a baby will be pulling on the rope to try to escape this post. And obviously it can't, it's too weak. And over time the elephant grows and they keep the same rope on its leg. But the elephant has learned, there's no point I can't escape. Even though they get to a point when they're fully grown, mature adults and they could rip that post out of the ground and run away. And it's this idea of learned helplessness is going, what have we learned that we need to say, that's actually not the way it is anymore. So for me, a very real and practical thing that I've discussed with Steph over and over again is I had the assumption that I'm no good with money. That I have no control over finances. It was one of those things where it's like, no matter what I did, I just felt like I couldn't get ahead with money. I just couldn't budget. Well, I was just no good. And Steph, so many times had to go, like, why do you think that you've read so many books, you put budgets in place for our family. You, you run the budgets at work. Why would you think that you have no hope when it comes to money? That's inevitable that I'm going to stuff something up here and we're going to be out of money because it was always coming up for me. If I just talked about it, I didn't want to look at it. I didn't want to deal with it. I just wanted to spend it. No, but I just wanted to, but I realized It came from a point in my life when I was, I think at 19 and I was working as like an intern at my local youth group. And I didn't realize, but I was in charge of the budgets apparently. And I didn't realize. And so I was getting told, oh, we need to purchase this. We need to purchase this. And I would purchase it on the work credit card. And then lo and behold, six months in or eight months in the balance sheet comes out. And, you know, I think it was like £5,000 - £6,000 in debt of this, like this ministry that I was supposed to look after. And I'm 19 years old. I didn't know what I was doing. And it was so embarrassing. And so I really felt like I failed. It was an awful feeling. And I remember at the time the person that was in charge, I think he actually out of his own pocket covered it. He said it was okay, but for me it was like, no, I obviously suck with money. I never want to be in this position again. So I'm never going to put myself in a position where I'm handling finances. Well, fast forward in OneSixOne, I am the guy handling finances. And I had to realize I had to go back unpick, re-Establish what happened in that moment? I was young. I was naive. I didn't know. Maybe I was given too much responsibility. Doesn't matter, but a mistake was made it's okay. And now need to look forward and go. I'm not bad with money. I've got to take that thing out of my mind. I've read a lot of books and I will get better, but I had to go back. Basically, because I had this learned helplessness of, well, there's no point I'm going to fail anyway. So for me, that's probably the clearest and learning I've had to do in my life, but there's been plenty of points where I've had to look at the world and go, why do I see it in this lens? Go back. Okay. This happened to me or the coaching. Why do I think like this, let's pick that apart and it's reestablish how we need to view the world.

Stephanie Alcaino(17:01):
I think you raise a really interesting point more for the fact that why do certain people not unlearn something?

Jared Saar (17:08):
I don't think we realize.

Stephanie Alcaino (17:08):
Yeah, it could be the realization, but also is it sometimes easier to maintain a status quo or to maintain something that you've learned now, instead of having to go through the detail to unpick, the things that you know were bad from what you had learned in the first place?

Jared Saar (17:24):
The first thing I thought of when we were talking about this podcast was the poem you read out Andy in the first second episode. Which was two men in a prison cell, looking out one sees bars or what was it? Can you say it again?

Andy Khatouli (17:36):
Two men look out from prison bars, one sees mud, the other sees stars.

Jared Saar (17:40):
Okay. And for me that was a very real picture of yes. Obviously in a prison cell, that horrible, but in life are some us in a prison cell and some of us free and why? Do we need to unlearn what cell have we put ourselves into? Whether that be because we've seen a family like generational thing where we'd just gone. Well, it was like that for my parents and it's like that for their parents. So it's a big discussion for me. It's something, when I saw this question, I was like, absolutely. There's so many things I've had to unlearn, but I think that was the biggest thing for me, the financial thing. And I wouldn't say I've fully unlearned it. I still get that kind of pain trigger point. Every time we come up to talk about money. Cause it's just that, that thing, you know.

Andy Khatouli (18:24):
I can imagine for a lot of people to unlearn something is quite a scary process because you're basically abandoning your life for the last however many years, you know? And therefore there's this kind of anxiety around, well, if I get rid of this, is there some form of stability that will be lost and will my life just spiral out of control and you know, so I felt like that at times with certain things that I haven't mentioned, but yeah, it can be that the elephant analogy you gave where you're like, well, if I go away from this post, you know, anything could happen to me.

Jared Saar (18:56):
Well, not even that it's like, he doesn't even realize it can go from the posts. It's assume that life has dealt with a card and it can not remove this rope from its leg. When in actual fact that elephant could trample so many people, if it wanted to get out of the captive's control. Well, obviously not when people have guns, but like, it's a horrible thing, you know, but this is what they're trying to say is like, what is our perspective on things now? And have we picked up something along the way?

Stephanie Alcaino (19:21):
Good points.

Matt Miller (19:37):
I remember the day where I realized my parents were wrong.

Everyone (19:48):
Ooooo.. Hmmmm

Matt Miller (19:49):
Sorry Barry and Patricia, but there was a day when you were wrong. And I was like, that's not true. That's not actually true. When they like said, this is the way it is and I was like, I know for a fact your wrong. The reason I say that is because, bless my mum and dad's, it's not like I did not grow up in an oppressive house whatsoever. But in some ways I think because of cultural reasons like children have wind rush. So they're presented with a view of the world. They've been taught by my grandparents, yo, this place isn't safe for us and we don't belong here. So we have to make something for ourselves. So this is the world and this is how you act, this is what you do. This is how it is. And so there's been a remnant of that kind of thinking in a lot of black British homes. And that was definitely like part of my lived experience because my parents wanted to protect and provides. That was the main provocative in their eyes. Like they taught us like, I guess, a wholesome way to live. When you live in a house, which is like a Christian household as well, there's very much this like doctrine, this worldview of like yo in this house, we're holy and the world is evil. Everything out there is bad and evil and dangerous. And that also is fueled by this fear of the unknown. Not knowing and you know, not belonging and all and all this kind of stuff. And so I think a lot of, some of the fundamental thought processes in my mind was based off of that foundation.

Jared Saar (21:34):
It's like constant fear, it sounds like.

Matt Miller (21:37):
I wouldn't say it was like living in constant fear, but to a certain degree, you're protecting yourself, you're protecting your wellbeing. That's kind of how you think. So it took me like a long time until I was like an adolescent to really have, I guess, the maturity to question that internally for myself without offending my parents without being disrespectful. Because, you know, they worked very hard to raise us as a family and it wasn't that they were intrinsically wrong in everything that they did, but it's just some unhelpful behaviours. I think unfortunately there was scenarios and situations, which actually proved that point. When you go to school in your, like one of the few minorities in the school, I was like, my parents told me this would happen. Yeah. And then you live it and you're like, so the world is like this. Okay, cool. But really we live in a village in Yorkshire. It's like, that's not the world. Yeah. And so I think, you know, this is still when kie, we didn't have the, in that we had dial up and we had like encyclopedia on the computer.

Jared Saar (22:38):
I miss that.

Andy Khatouli (22:40):
I always thought that was like a free game.

Matt Miller (22:42):
So like, I didn't have a global awareness of what was going on. Like my blackest experience was visiting my cousins in London. Like where all of a sudden it's like, oh, okay, this makes sense to me. This is kind of, and even then there was still a bit of an us and them dynamic. Like you grow up in like, you know, a black area in London and then you go to like the zoo and all of a sudden it's loads of everyone else again. And you're like, wait, the world's bigger than...So how that manifested in my life was that I would make huge generalisations. Okay. So I think if we're talking about unlearning anything, definitely. Especially like when I was at university and things like that, and I would just present these facts, these huge generalisations that had no factual basis, but it's just because I felt like I'd lived the experience a little bit. Yeah. And I thought that's how it was. And people were like, bro, like calm down. Like it's not, it's not that deep. And I'm like, what'd you mean like it is that deep, like this, this, and then like, no, I don't see it that way. And I'm like, well, how do you see it? And I'm like, that can't be true. And then you go away and you're like, oh, okay. Do you know what I mean? Like when you actually start seeing that, not everything in the world is evil. Like you actually start seeing beautiful things and you're like, wow. And then there's like, should I feel guilty about this? And what's hard. I think with that was that there was moments where I realized, oh, I really need to rethink all of this. And what kind of bubble have I grown up in? Because you, then when you start thinking differently, you become the rebel one. And so I was very much labeled within friendship groups and community stuff as like, oh, he's being like rebellious. He's getting like almost to some degree, like, you know how we're quick to label. People's like woke. Yeah. But actually some people are genuinely trying to think outside of the context of their bubble, they're trying to learn to try to grow. They're trying to grow in empathy and understanding and all this kind of stuff. So I think my thing that I've had to unlearn and even still it crops up every now and then, but I think how I hold myself accountable to it is by constantly asking, like, are we making generalisations. You've heard me say that like, you know, like, is this really how it really is when let's try not to communicate in huge generalisations?

Jared Saar (25:01):
Yeah, that's cool.

Stephanie Alcaino (25:04):
Yeah, I'm probably no different really from you Matt in regards to, I think I lived in a world of generalizations and ultimatums. I think I just learned it from a young age that you need to kind of just speak as if you know, and my parents are both incredibly intelligent, so they spoke because they knew, but I learned it as you speak because you know, but you haven't actually gone out to search for yourselves. So I think I carry that a lot. And this gap of going, actually I have no I do came to sort of, you know, came into realization when, you know, I came up with certain circumstances that really humbled me for the fact that I didn't know. And you know, I've always admired the curious mind and people who are quite curious, who kind of go towards living a way that they can become woke and to live outside of like the society mindset and this umbrella of what society says you should already know. Is like, how do you sit above that? So, you know, I had circumstances, at least with my photography where clients use my images in the wrong way. And it's because I left university with the same mindset of, oh, now I know. But I never then questioned the context of where my skillset existed in, which is it's all about ideas. It's all about your creative mind and that's what sells. So I never questioned to actually, what are my legal, moral and ethical rights as a photographer. So then it's not until people started using my images wrongly, like putting an unedited image in the evening standard or putting one of my images on one of their t-shirts and selling it commercially. Did I actually realize and come up against the things I didn't know, cause I never actually questioned them in the first place. I was the only one affected by it. I was the one affected by my own ignorance and people just use my ignorance against me. So I kinda needed to change my mindset of how I went about doing those things. So I really had to unlearn the fact that I have learned things.

Jared Saar (27:06):
Would you also say in that situation too, you had to unlearn the perspective that all people really care about me and people want to see me succeed?

Stephanie Alcaino (27:14):
Absolutely. Like it's realizing that life is not fair. You know, I grew up as a twin. So I grew up with this mentality that life is fair because if I get 12 chips, my sister gets 12 chips. You know what I mean? Like there's this like complete fairness of how we grew up. And my dad kept trying to say to us, life is not fair. Like I know we try to give you 50/50 in everything, but you gotta realize that life is unfair. And I think I only started realizing when my ignorance was being used against me and it was unfair because, people are out for themselves and people look for their best interests before my own. And I needed to realize that if I wanted to safeguard my self-interest and protect my work and my ideas, then I needed to learn. And even once I started to learn, I realized that I didn't know enough. So, you know, I had this client use my images badly. So then I learned how to write a contract, how to read contracts and things like that. And I was like, great. I know. So I'm going to start giving out contracts. And then I gave out a contract, you know, I had talked to the client and the clown was just like, oh yeah, it's digital use only. And I was like, great, send out the contract. They signed the contract. And then I saw my images in print. And then I was just like, ah, you know, just wanted to let you know, you do remember that it was only for digital use. And then because goes, they came from a law background. They still knew more than I did. And they found a way to weed out of the contract that they had signed for themselves that clearly states digital use only. And then I realized again, Steph you didn't know, you didn't know enough. So I've really kind of just made it my mission to just go about life going 'I know nothing'. Because if I know nothing, I stay the student and I don't have the ego of the teacher of going, 'I'm the teacher, so I'm going to teach you.' But if I say with this mindset of, I'm still a student about life and about all the things I think I know, but I don't. So I'm going to keep learning them. Then that's how I progress feather. Yeah. So yes, I had to unlearn the fact that I knew anything.

Matt Miller (29:20):
Yeah that's cool. Cause the next question is like what prompted you to unlearn? And you touched on the various times where you've been kind of taken advantage of. And so that's prompted you to question and unlearn some of those thoughts and processes and even Andy yourself, like you spoke about being burnt out. And so there was almost like an impetus there to like unlearn that way of thinking. Jared, what prompted you to unlearn? Because I don't think you, unless I missed it, but I think you've touched on. Yeah. What was the moment that made you delve into some of the books and reading that you were going through?

Jared Saar (29:51):
Yeah. I think for me, all I could say was anxiety, constant anxiety around a particular thing. In this case, finance, you kind of got to ask yourself when it gets to payday every month I had this overwhelming anxiety or I'm really short with Steph or something, you know what I mean? Like, why am I like this at this point in the calendar? So for me it was really just more a pattern, a pattern and a way of thinking and asking myself, like, I don't want to be anxious. Why am I anxious right now? And then breaking that down. I needed Steph to help me break that one down actually. But it wasn't like a reset button. It was like a time. And I said now. It's like still there, like, but really kind of a lot more minimal and hopefully time will continue to heal that. But yeah, for me it was definitely that realization of like, I don't want to be anxious anymore. So what's going on?

Matt Miller (30:45):
Yeah. I think, like I said, I think like.

Stephanie Alcaino (30:47):
What do you think?

Matt Miller (30:50):
I think like...

Stephanie Alcaino (30:50):
I think a bird... [Laughter].

Jared Saar (31:03):
I've got actually a funny story on learning that I think will sum up my relationship with Matt, because this one for me popped into my head as well, because I was like, what's a moment in your life where you realized you had to unlearn something. And I think for me, there's also been this whole thing around like honoring your leader and respecting your leader and, and whoever's being placed above you. So you know that person's above you because they're supposed to be there. So you're supposed to just do everything you can to really honor them. And I didn't know what honoring really meant. I just thought it meant. Yeah. But it's kind of like, you're not respecting, like you're just afraid of not being respectful. And so Matt's kind of journey may a few different people that have been like, I guess above me and that whole journey. And I just remember one day I was like, oh, this person's really making me uncomfortable and just getting so sick of it. And he just, you could tell Matt was done, like he was done with this conversation. [Laughter] But I value that because he turned to me, he goes, when are you going to deal with this? And he was like, when are you going to deal with this thing? Because if it's not this person, there'll be another one. And then there'll be another one after that. So either you fix it and you find out what's going on or you're just going to be in this cycle, the rest of your life. And I was like, oh, snap. That's actually what made me take up coaching? It was that moment when I was like...

Matt Miller (32:22):
I'm so savage.

Jared Saar (32:23):
It's probably at that point, I like to think it was like Matt giving me this word of advice, but maybe it was more the people-pleaser in me going, like, I don't want to annoy Matt anymore. I should probably deal with this. No, but it was, it was iron sharpens iron. I think that's the way I saw it. I didn't see it as...

Matt Miller (32:45):
But also it's important to note that I think we'd had a shared experience. And so I think we'd given each other somewhat permission. You saw where my frustration was coming from where? Yeah. You know, I don't think if you had that shared experience with everyone, we couldn't just be just saying that thing. You do stop it. You know what I mean? Like I think that has to come with relationship. There's a currency there. Which leads into when I'm thinking about myself and what prompted me, I realized which we haven't spoken too much about, but it was damaging two things in particular, one, my relationships with people. Yeah. And two, this is a bit of a weird phrase that I feel like has a lot attached to it. Cause people talk about giving permission and things like that. But I was ostracizing myself from a lot of opportunities, opportunities for fun opportunities, for real connection with people just because generalizations and judgment, don't allow you to do that. They create distance, they create hierarchy, they feel your pride, they feel a whole bunch of stuff. And I just realized that a lot of my capacity for people was fueled by those judgments. Yeah. So I think it just got to a point where I realized that I was pushing a lot of people away that I actually cared about because I was just making such crazy generalizations and they weren't really extreme, but there were enough to create a distance, which it just, just brought sadness. Yeah. For me and for other people. And I think more so for people that really made me have to question where's this all coming from.


Matt Miller (34:16):So there's two more questions by and learning. What difference if any, have you noticed, and if you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be? And we've alluded to both of these a little bit in some of our answers, but maybe we can expand on it a little bit. Yeah.

Jared Saar (34:32):
I guess for me, cause I kind of answered both at the same time, but I could talk to my younger self. I think I'd say two things, first of all, Dunlop volleys camouflage aren't cool. And you should never wear those shoes. And I had a pair of Dunlop volleys that were camouflage and they were awful.

Matt Miller (34:49):
Are they, the Velcro ones?

Jared Saar (34:50):
No, no, just like the slip ons, but they were awful. And it's the first pair of shoes I wore to meet Steph for the first time.

Stephanie Alcaino (34:57):
I mean, he just keeps talking about, I don't remember his shoes.

Jared Saar (35:00):
Yeah. I just, I looked back on that like bro.

Matt Miller (35:02):
Maybe you didn't see them if their camouflage. [Laughter]

Jared Saar (35:12):
But then I think the second thing would be, and this is around what I was talking about for, I think I trust myself more. So I would say to my younger self, trust yourself more and ask yourself, what do you think more? Cause I think in situations like we're talking about the finance thing or we're talking about leadership, I think I didn't take the time to just stop. What am I feeling right now? And why do I think this way? Because I think assumed that all my thoughts were redundant and I didn't know. So someone else had to tell me what the answer was and as Steph pointed before. Not everyone's out for your benefit sometimes. So I think for me, I'd say to myself, really just take a step back. And if something like, you know, you're 19 and you screwed up with the finances, stop there for a second. And just look at the situation where you given the right tools to handle this? Did you ask for help? Was there help around you at the point? Those kinds of things. I think if I trusted myself and stopped for a second, I think I probably would have avoided just knee-jerk reactions for the next few years that I was doing, which was anxiety and everything around finances. So I think that's probably what I would say to myself, the young, fresh face, Jared.

Stephanie Alcaino (36:20):
Yeah. When I was thinking about this, you know how, in the first episode I was talking about that, you know, you learn things through experience and exposure. I kind of asked the question, you know, is there a hierarchy to the two? And then I realized that actually experience is kind of the slow, steady state version of being able to learn something because you do it via a passive engagement, you know, you're in a certain environment. So you're learning a bit more and over time, you know, you're a little bit more experienced. But then exposure is actually your proactively looking for things to expose yourself, to, to learn new things. And that's actually the fast track to be able to learn faster. And I think in the last year, you know, even talking about the fact that I chose to read a lot more, I was proactively exposing myself to other opinions, thoughts, and ideas. And actually that has changed my way of thinking of just going, wow, I can learn so much if I look for it and I embrace my ignorance, I go, okay, I don't know stuff. So if I don't know something about a certain topic, why don't I just go find some way to learn about it so I can expose myself to that instead of just waiting for experience to teach me. So I think, you know, what I would tell my younger self is you don't know anything. Go look for ways to learn more. And stop living in a world where you think you need to make a statement and you need to make these ultimatums and assumptions about everything when you actually haven't proactively looked for the information and sorted out for yourself. So that's my one.

Matt Miller (37:52):
Yeah. If I had any advice for my younger self, I thought I was good at kind of loving people. And I realized that actually there was a lot of ego. And so I think some of my judgements generalizations were based on me being better or knowing, or being above people. And so I think if I had any advice now to get to my younger self, it would be to spend, to invest, invest my thoughts and my time growing in empathy and understanding with people around me and being more inquisitive rather than placing a judgment and a label on people and moving on with my life, because that was a more efficient way to, to do things. And I think, you know, unfortunately didn't have many role models at a young age that I felt did that who were actively engaged in my life until I was like an older teenager. And there was a couple of people who would call me out on some of that thinking. And some of those things that I would say, but not just call me out, they would actually show me there's a better way. So say, Hey, actually, if you thought like this, or actually, have you ever asked this question or actually, have you ever thought about this? And I'd never been challenged on my thinking with another way to think, because as I said, it was very much like here's good and over there is bad. So I would give that advice to myself. Find people who have the capacity to challenge your thinking and guide you that way. But at the same time, spend more time investing in empathy and try to love people.

Stephanie Alcaino (39:30):
Yeah. That's good. Nice.

Andy Khatouli (39:31):
Yeah. So for me, I'm going to throw a curve ball out there. So I'm going to say, I wouldn't give any advice.

Everyone (39:37):

Andy Khatouli (39:39):
Yeah. The reason I say that is because of the context that I grew up in. So I had a difficult childhood in terms of my parents. There were Iraqi refugees. They came over in the early nineties, late eighties because of Saddam Hussein. They were harsh disciplinaries with us. We'd often be beaten rather than disciplined. We were brought up in poverty and there wasn't much affection from our parents. And you know, I was clearly depressed as a child. Didn't know it back then. So my mentality growing up was I just want to get better. Like I, I want the situation to get better. So I'm going to try hard, work hard to get to where I can. And so, you know, by God's grace, I am in a better place. Now I'm really proud of what I've done. And I'm proud of like all the things that have come into my life. So for me, it's not a matter of just looking back and saying, you should do this better. You should do this. Or you shouldn't do that. Because for me, it's the case that all the things that I've had to go through have made me who I am today. So I wouldn't want to take any of those things away. And as difficult as that is to accept that I had to go through some of those things to make the person that I am today, you know, to be able to be more sensitive and caring and considerate of others, you know, to be more inquisitive, to ask questions, to challenge, you know, those things are ingrained in me as a direct result of suffering really. So I find it very difficult to look back and say, can I give advice to my younger self? Because actually I want my younger self to take that journey. Yeah. Cause I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Jared Saar (41:17):
That is deep.

Stephanie Alcaino (41:19):

Andy Khatouli (41:19):
And I think to the person who asked the question, ask me again in 40 years.

Matt Miller (41:24):
Andy maybe we should do a podcast in 40 years and look back with the same piece of paper and ask these questions again. Like for real, actually like we should say now and whatever, what is it? 2021?

Jared Saar (41:37):
Wait, wait, did you say 4 years or 40 years?

Andy Khatouli (41:42):
Yeah. When I'm 60 or something, I don't know.

Matt Miller (41:43):
Yeah. 2061? It was 40 years from now. Yeah. I'm going to be like 70 something. So please. I hope I'm still alive, but we can come back and if podcasts are even a thing. We can sit back with this letter and we can talk about it.

Andy Khatouli (42:04):
I think we'll struggle to get Steph because she'll be doing some sort of talk.

Matt Miller (42:08):
Steph will be on another planet. [Laughter] Steph will have a colony with a library and a throne room.

Jared Saar (42:18):
Where am I? I'm in that cryogenic sleep chamber travelling for a thousand years to get to a new planet.


Matt Miller (42:34):
So the letter ends by saying may I suggest you do a Q and a, at some point I'd listened to it. Of course. Well of course we do the Q and a. So if people still have questions, we love questions, send them in we'll bank them and then we'll do a Q and a episode and we'll go forever. But this has been good.

Jared Saar (42:51):
It's been really good. Thank you for sending in those questions. Great question.

Stephanie Alcaino (42:54):
Yeah they were.

Matt Miller (42:55):
So we're gonna end this podcast, how we always end our podcast, which is what's on our radar stuff that we want to share, give a shout out to. Things that we're inspired by found interesting, found helpful these past couple of weeks. So Jared.

Jared Saar (43:10):
Yep. I'm ready. I started following this person on Instagram. I think his name is Andry Dedouze. He's in Paris and he's uses this thing on blender called grease pencil, which is basically like 2D slash 3D animation, which you draw and he's artworks are just so beautiful. I've just never seen anything like this before. You have to check him out on Instagram. Like it's absolutely insane. And then I've watched a couple of these tutorials and he's actually a really funny person as well, like super down to earth. So I'm going to put that link in the show notes, but I'm also as OneSixOne director, we just need to figure out a way where we can just get him on a project that would be so sick to work with this person. So anyway, that's my radar this week.

Stephanie Alcaino (44:17):

Andy Khatouli (44:17):
Sweet. I'm going to give a shout out to a few fellow Iraqis, British Iraquis. If there's any other Arabs listening, feel free to go and check them out. Ali-Al-Hamadi who's a forward for Swansea football club. He has a inspiring story about how his parents came over from Iraq during the war and how he's just kind of pushed forward and made something for himself. Dalia Aldu, who's an editor. And she recently wrote this piece called the Road to Nowhere, which talks about second gen children in the UK and kind of the detentions of all those feelings and stuff. And then last of all, Saeed Al-Rubeyi. He's married to Katie and they have a natural organic clothing brand called Story MFG is like based out of Brighton. Super inspiring to see other people kind of from the same cultural background as me. And so if there's any other Arabs out there, feel free to check them out. They do some really cool stuff.

Stephanie Alcaino (45:12):
Awesome. I'm probably just going to self plug here. I think in regards to just everything that we've even discussed today, as you guys can tell I'm in the realm of questions. I think questions offer more value than answers a lot of the time. So I started an account on Instagram called @gotaquestionforyou.

Jared Saar (45:38):
Yes you did.

Stephanie Alcaino (45:40):
I did. And I think the whole idea around it is that I really want to stop this answer culture that exists on social media and kind of fight against that and allow people to actually think about a lot of things more deeply. So I just ask questions on there and I've got a hierarchy of questions. I always believe the followup question is more valuable than the first question. So I start with a question that brings people in on the actual picture. And then there's another followup question that exists in the caption. And I think it's a soundboard or a platform for people to just consider things a little bit more deeply. You know, what is the follow up question? Have you even thought about the first question or do you stop there or do you continue thinking and ask more questions? But yeah, that's that's my radar is just starting this account to offer value that almost puts the ownership on the person to find the answer or to ask more questions.

Matt Miller (46:36):
Nice. Really nice. I'm going to jump back on the TV hype. I mean, I finished this a little bit ago, but I'm going to go with Ted lasso, the TV series that was on apple TV plus apple TV, apple TV?

Jared Saar (46:51):
Apple TV, plus I think that's combining Disney plus.

Matt Miller (46:53):
It is, I'd never got that.

Jared Saar (46:55):
Apple Disney plus flix.

Matt Miller (46:57):
Yeah. Prime. Apple TV plus flix now prime

Jared Saar (47:05):

Matt Miller (47:05):
Got all of them.

Andy Khatouli (47:06):
Play. Why is it not just one player that link it's all altogether? Boom tech idea. I said that in the podcast anyway. Ted Lasso. It's great. It's directed by a Bill Lawrence who is the guy behind scrubs. And is it Cougartown? Not that I've ever seen it, but apparently he did that as well.

Jared Saar (47:24):
It sounds scary all the cougars everywhere.

Matt Miller (47:27):
Yeah. And scrubbing each other. [Laughter] Okay. But Scrubs growing up was on of my favorite TV shows like especially the first like three or four seasons before JD disappeared and all went a bit weird. But anyway, and Ted lasso is actually brilliant. It's got Jason Sudokus in it as Ted Lasso. And it's the story of an American coach that comes to be the manager of Richmond FC, where the previous owner is having a divorce and his wife is now the owner of the club and she just wants to destroy the club and brings in this manager with zero experience from a totally different context. But as the series goes on, everyone grows to love this guy. And it's, it's a brilliant story. And there's a lot in it, which is quite illuminating because there are some questions around how is this show going to age? Some of the representation is actually quite on point with how English football is. And especially in regards to different ethnicities in football and diversity in football and some of the characters within the show, almost character chores, which is actually hilarious, but it's kind of true. It's like, that's actually what footballer act like in interview situations on the pitch. Anyway. So I do have a question around how it will age. I don't think it's inappropriate, but I think it is very entertaining. And the story itself is really great. So yeah, Ted lasso on apple TV plus flix prime player now sky. Guys I think that's everything.

Andy Khatouli (48:59):

Stephanie Alcaino (48:59):

Matt Miller (49:03):
See you on the next one.

The OneSixOne podcast was recorded at the Qube, edited by Tim Steemson, music by Meganeko, and you can find us online at Follow us on instagram Thanks for listening.


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