This deep conversation with Michael Marvosh explores meaning and life lessons with prompts from nature and our own life experiences.

Mentioned in This Episode

  • ConvertKit Conference (where John & Michael met)
  • Stephen Warley of Life Skills That Matter
  • Mike Vardy of Productivityist
  • Michael’s podcast called Deadman’s Forest
    • The exploration of existence and meaning
    • Being intentional about sharing what he has learned from his life instead of letting those things die with him
    • Everyone has unique wisdom and experiences
    • Recording process and open air recording studio
  • Giant trees along the coast of Northern California
    • Stout Grove at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
    • The enormity of the trees how perspective is somewhat hard to come by
    • A similar feeling of awe that you’d feel walking into a huge cathedral
    • Makes you think of things bigger than yourself
    • Gaining the perspective and the value of realizing that we are not the center of things–feeling that bigger thing
  • Michael shares about his vision fast ceremony and the shape it took
    • Following the ideas about who you are or what you might do
    • Acting on them and finding meaning through that action
    • Life is a series of “transitions”–our modern day society doesn’t do a lot to mark or celebrate these events
    • Committing to a future version of ourselves
    • Crossing the threshold
  • Often the first step forward towards what we really want or changing is committing–even when things aren’t 100% clear.
  • More “knowing” comes from committing
  • People who struggle to achieve a particular skill are often better teachers of it compared to people who naturally succeed–struggle can be an advantage (John borrows this from Steve Chandler)
  • Embracing mindsets that take us in productive directions
  • At Michael’s request John shares some of the biggest lessons from his life so far:
    • Grappling with Christianity
    • Figuring out what I want to do and what I’m good at
    • Compassion and empathy with grappling
    • Embracing the tensions and unresolved questions of life
    • Accepting and leaning more into who John is
    • Getting to the bottom of what’s true for John and what he really believes
    • L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland–“honest answers to honest questions”
  • Being satisfied with imperfection


The Trees are Big

More about Stout Grove in this 2019 article from the Oregonian: Dip your toes into California’s redwoods at the incredible Stout Grove trail


  • Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund
  • Cold Funk by Kevin MacLeod
  • All photos provided by Michael Marvosh

All songs licensed under Creative Commons