Warren talks to us about the importance of following your passion, the reasons he didnâ€™t become a doctor on a small island and why helping create a sustainable world makes him happy.
Not everything has to be so rigid in life. Sometimes happy conversations start out of the blue and itâ€™s awesome to roll with it. This is exactly how we feel this week about our organic conversation with Warren Neilson.
Warren is Co-Creator and Strategist at Stok, a real estate services firm focused on creating a radically better built environment, and Co-Founder and Chief Wave Hugger at StokeShare, an online platform that creates the ability to swap gear for outdoor adventures. He lives in San Francisco.
Our experiences with the podcast have taught us that asking people what makes them happy is a profound question. Warren agrees and would add that heâ€™s learned that doing what makes you happy is essential. Often told he sees the world through rose colored glasses, heâ€™s surrounded himself with people that have influenced that happiness. His mother, for starters, always taught him the importance of following what makes him happy.
Joy was the meter she suggested her children use for their happiness. She openly acknowledged the choices she made that did not lead her to happiness and those that did, which ultimately helped her teach her children fine tune the thought process of finding happiness. Through this encouragement, Warren was able to understand the importance of finding his passion.
Warren explains that when you follow your passion the rest is easy. His thought process is the more you do something you love, the more skilled you become in that area. Thus, acquiring the currency of lifeâ€”aka moneyâ€”somehow takes care of itself in this way. And he doesnâ€™t believe this can only be done through going to school or working for a corporation.
Warren wasnâ€™t always sure about his passion. At first he was a pre-med student who wanted to be a general doctor on an island, assisting patients and surfing all the time. Once he calculated the amount of money this would cost and when he would finish school, it reassured to him that this wasnâ€™t something he was passionate about. Instead, he found out that conceptualizing and putting a plan into action gives him joy and so did nature. He quit his job and started his own company focused on building sustainable buildings.
In addition to finding and doing what makes you happy, Warren tells us he thinks it equally important to be a responsible citizen, socially as well as environmentally. He wants to make sure he is always a part of the solution that creates a more robust and sustainable environment, restoring the planet. Knowing he is a part of this brings him great joy.
To elaborate, why is it that heâ€™s dedicated his entire academic and professional life to protecting the world? Warren and his business partner recently asked themselves this question. While it does bring them great joy to do so, the truth is that at some point they fell in love with the natural world and felt a great responsibility to protect it. That led them to believe that if they could inspire a younger generation to feel the same love for the natural world and also want to protect it, the impact would be far greater in the long run than their own personal efforts.
Through StokeShare, the worldâ€™s largest library of shared outdoor gear, Warren and his team has collaborated with local non-profit organizations to introduce at-risk kids to the great outdoors. From teaching them to surf to rock climbing, the smiles on their faces and the joy they gain from experiencing nature for the first time becomes an inspiration to everyone involved, volunteers and founders including. It is clear to us that what Warren is doing is helping convert a world who is told they have to protect the environment want to protect the environment.
What else makes Warren happy? His wife and his daughter (Heâ€™s a new dad and thinks the dad thing is so cool!), memories of his mom and the word love.
If you want to get in touch with Warren, you can reach him by emailing email@example.com.
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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]From Warren: firstname.lastname@example.org
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.