In this BHP Short, I’m sharing some important lessons from Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and his best-selling book, Let My People Go Surfing.

This book was at the core of our conversations when we started the Better Human Project two years ago. To say it made a big impact on all three of us – Josh, Ryland, and me – would be an understatement. Each of us had read the book indepently of the other, yet it’s influence on us was evident. We each wanted to incorporate much of the lessons from this book into what we were (and are) building.

And we’re not alone. Everyone I know who has read this book has been impacted similarly: including previous BHP guests Logan Gelbrich and Brian McDonell.

My Top Takeaways from Yvon Chouinard’s Let My People Go Surfing:

  • Perfection is not nothing more to add, but nothing more to remove. – Zen Saying
  • The more you know, the less you need.
  • Admit what you don’t know. Ask for help.
  • We can’t wait until we have all the answers to act.
  • Be an owner, not a consumer.
  • Immobile pessimists and nonchalant optimists are the same: nothing gets done.
  • The cure for depression is action.
  • Art > Fashion
    • Timeless vs. passé
  • We all need to embrace and embody Full Cost Accounting
  • Examples of Full Cost Accounting:
    • If the entire planet farmed like the USA we would deplete the globe in 7 years
    • We consume 1” of topsoil per year. It takes nature 1000 years to create that 1”
    • 1 bushel of corn in Midwest (monoculture farm) requires 2 bushels of topsoil
  • 1 cotton T-shirt requires 700 gallons of water.
    • How many t shirts do you have? how many do you need?
  • Since 1940s veggies lost 75% of nutrient content and fruits lost 66%
  • Patagonia Ethos:
    • Lead an examined life (uncurious people do not lead examined lives. Ask more questions)
    • Do your part
    • Do good
    • Inspire others
  • We are what we DO. Not what we say we are.
  • The path to mastery is to work towards simplicity

PRESS PLAY to hear the full breakdown.

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