Episode #90: Dan Schnur on Forging Your Own Path When Everything Shifts
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In this episode of the Discomfort Practice, I talk with Dan Schnur. We chat about the discomfort of his career trajectory: going from being one of the top Republican political strategists and campaign officials in the US to leaving and not affiliating with any political party. (In a bi-partisan political system where you’ve been a big player, that’s a big move.) Dan gives an elegant master class in how to leave your comfort zone, forge your own path and stay true to yourself when everything shifts… and shifts again. Because that’s just life.
Dan’s resume is impressive. He previously worked on four Presidential and three Gubernatorial campaigns, as one of California's leading political strategists. He served as the national director of Communications for the 2000 Presidential Campaign of US Senator John McCain, and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. He's been an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's the founder of the leading University of Southern California (USC) LA Times state-wide political pol and currently teaches courses in politics, communications and leadership at UC Berkeley.The list could go on…
Join us for Dan’s remarkable, humble and thoroughly enjoyable style and story about the process of going through discomfort to create your own freedom on the other side. Enjoy!
Key Points Discussed:
- As a college undergraduate, Dan was not particularly academically motivated and he was asked to leave. Even though it was uncomfortable moment, Dan was able to see this as an opportunity to move to Washington to pursue his interest in Politics (6:30)
- One of Dan’s favourite quotes: “If you don’t take risks, nothing good will happen.” And how taking risks has played out in his life (11:20)
- The risk Dan took from having a successful career the Republican Party to leaving to become an Independent Politician (16:10)
- The generation that leads society out of a crisis, is one that is exceptional (Gen Z) (31:50)
- The News by definition is going to look for conflict and controversy. It’s easy to sucked into that narrative, as all the acts of kindness aren’t reported on (42:20)
- How interacting with others with different views is uncomfortable, but is needed in order to grow and learn (52:20)
- How helping others energises Dan: when you do something that puts someone else in a better mood, it boosts your mood too (57:40)
- Dan quote: “For every decision I ask myself: What’s the best thing that can happen? What’s the worst thing that can happen? The overwhelming majority of the time, the worst thing that can happen, isn’t that bad. So it’s worth a try.” (1:04:18)
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