In this episode, we have an interesting episode with Nathaniel Drew. He's a composer, former film producer, and the director of Salt Lake Pops Studio Orchestra where they are changing the culture of the modern orchestra. We took a deep dive into his backstory, our purpose, and the mindset of game changers, and his upcoming show. Enjoy!
Table Of Contents:
- Intentionally Pushing Boundaries
- Setting The Intention Of How Things Will Be
- Nathan's Amazing Backstory
- What Is Our Purpose?
- Focus Is Our Superpower
- Game Changers: Nathan's Upcoming Show
Intentionally Pushing Boundaries
Mike: All right, Anthony. Your attention is on taking people beyond where they even think they can go.
Nathan: Yeah, so my obsession is to understand how we work mentally to go beyond what anyone has ever done before. Cause we're doing that constantly as a species, right? But only a certain few people alive are actually consciously doing that.
Mike: Yeah, there's a few that are pushing all of humanity forward. Most people are doing their day-to-day thing, just on autopilot. Then there's a few dragging.
Nathan: I don't think anyone … In fact, I think everybody's adding to this. I think everybody has these intentions, at least.
Mike: There's a contribution.
Nathan: Yeah, everybody's contributing in some way. But I think it takes a few intentional people to understand that I am here right now and no one's done this thing before, so how do I actually push forward and do that thing? Whatever it may be, whether it's in business or it's athletics or whatever.
Mike: Yeah. If more people were onboard with intentionally pushing boundaries, then we'd move faster.
Nathan: Well, yeah. But I think this is a natural thing for humankind, though. Because most people right now want peace because they are doing a ton of things that they don't really enjoy. People want peace, they want to sit and relax for a while because most people are so busy doing crap they don't like, that they need that rest. Absolutely. Everybody needs that rest but if you find that, to me, the optimal state for humankind is adventure. Feeling that excitement of adventure. What's that new adventure going to be? That, to me, is optimal human mentality.
U.S. as the epitome of adventure
Mike: After adventure, people want peace. Do you think that as a whole, there's been a lot of adventure in the last-
Nathan: Sort of. We can talk about adventure in a couple different ways. You can do adventure where you're pushing yourself so hard that you start to dislike it. But if you enjoy the adventure … Yeah, right, I think everybody has … but if you enjoy the adventure, at the end you're like woo hoo, let's do this again. You know what I mean? That's the mentality I'm looking for. Not the "Oh my gosh, I just did the 50 mile hike and now my feet are blistered and I'm just dead. I'm dead to the world just let me veg for a week."
Nathan: No, I'm talking about you were so prepared that when you went on the hike, you got back, you were like, "Holy crap, I did that and I feel amazing. Let's do the next one."
Mike: Yeah. But do you think culturally, we've had a lot of adventure?
Nathan: Sure. Well, I mean the United States is the epitome of that kind of adventure. We are the experiment. That's what we are. The rest of the world looks at us because we are the trailblazers. We're this new piece of land, we're not that old of a country and we're doing all these things that is absolutely trailblazing and there are other countries that are trying to catch up with us as well. But we have that mentality innately, I think, because we are this new country. We have enough land, we have enough space, we have enough innovative thinking that we push each other forward. You have places like Silicon Valley where everyone is just hungry for this innovation.
Enjoy the journey
Mike: What I've noticed inside the United States, the closer you get to the West Coast, the more innovation you have.
Nathan: Well, there are certain areas of innovation. There's Los Angeles, which is very innovative. There's Silicon Valley, obviously. There are spots in New York and there's, actually Georgia has a really cool is of innovation, I can't remember what they call it. There are a couple of different places in the U.S. that are just hot for innovation. So yeah, it's that kind of mentality that I'm obsessed with. Not just how do you push forward and move beyond but also how do you really enjoy it?
Mike: Yeah. Enjoy the process.
Nathan: Enjoy the process and enjoy the ending. Enjoy the whole thing. Because you don't have to go through something that's really difficult. You don't have to move to a new place and make it hard. You could, in fact, make it easy and enjoyable along the way.
Mike: I've been wondering that one. I used to think, fuck, everything's got to be … seeking out hardship.
Nathan: Well, Brendon Burchard and a lot of these other guys who are into this mindset stuff are always about, oh you got to do the hard stuff. Hustle. All that kind of stuff. You got to do the hard stuff. I don't think it's about the hard stuff because I see people do hard stuff and I see people do easy stuff and they both make headway on this kind of stuff. So what's the difference? It's really the expectation that you're going to do it. But you can expect to do it and make it really hard on yourself, which is fine and a lot of people do that.
Setting The Intention Of How Things Will Be
Mike: Yeah, I did Burning Man a couple weeks ago and I rolled and Burning Man can be very arduous, right? Normally it is. I came in and I had a friend come in on day one over to my RV and made a comment about "Wow, the weather's very moderate this year." I go, "Yes, this week is going to be very powerful and easy. You know what that means?" He nods and goes, "Yes, it will."
Mike: And you know what? It was. It was the easiest Burning Man experience I ever had. It was powerful and it was a load of fun.
Nathan: I love how it started with the expectation.
Mike: Yes, setting the intention of this is how it's going to be. Because most people would not associate easy and powerful together.
Nathan: No, well, I think most people would not associate easy with trailblazing. That's a hard thing for people to imagine, easy with adventure. Because adventure, there might be a lot of action but you could wash the dishes and feel it really difficult and weighing you down and just have a terrible time doing the dishes. Or you could sit there and go, "This is going to be fun." And make a game out of it and have a blast doing the dishes.
The momentum matters most
Nathan: Every single thing we do in life is just an expectation of is this going to be easy, is it going to be hard, is it going to be fun, is it going to be depressing? You could say that it's going to be fun and adventurous or you could set it that it's going to be really, really difficult and depressing and it's going to change the rest of your life because your toes are going to fall off. Whatever it is, just have to set the right expectations.
Mike: I had a coach a while back, a business coach. I brought to him and go, "These are the five things that need to get done for us to move the ball forward. I don't know which one to start on first." And he goes, "Well, which one's easiest?" And I go, "Well, this one's easiest." He goes, "Okay, well do that first."
Nathan: Because you expect a business coach to push you, push you, push you. Let's get the hardest thing first, get that out of the way. But the truth is, really, it's more about momentum.
Mike: And that's what I realized is I took his advice and I did the first thing and we knocked it out in a week and it had an impact. And because we had impact on the business and with our clients, it then rolled into the … Now that we got excited about the next one and then we got excited. And then by the time we got to the last one, it wasn't hard.
Nathan's Amazing Backstory
Mike: Tell us a bit about your background. I want people to …
Nathan: My background is interesting. I grew up doing Hershey track and field, did long jump and triple jump and stuff. Then I started throwing the discus, I started placing first at every meet. I grew up throwing discuss and going to nationals and placing. At one point, I started getting into music. I started writing a lot of orchestral music. I started writing music for film. In fact, after college, I started the Salt Lake Pops Orchestra. I spent a few years outside of athletics. Completely outside and I gained a lot of weight.
Mike: So you left athletics?
Nathan: Left athletics completely.
Mike: Went into music.
Nathan: Went into music. Started writing music for film and started the SLPO, got really big on YouTube. Got millions and millions of views. At one point, I actually got really angry at life. Really angry. Because I was this famous composer and I was living in a trailer court. With two kids. My wife and two kids, we were in a trailer. I had all these international awards, I had done all these films, I founded the orchestra. I did all this amazing stuff and I had nothing to show for it. Nothing monetarily to speak of.
Mike: That's happening a lot with social media and the internet. There's a lot of people really well known. I know people who have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, maybe even millions, and the bank account does not reflect that.
Getting back to his athletic roots
Nathan: Then I heard about meditation for the sake of getting rid of thought so I started doing that and that really progressed me emotionally to a point where then I started working out a little bit here and there. I started really cooking my own food. I started doing little things on a daily basis for me. I started losing a ton of weight. I started getting back athletically.
Nathan: Yeah, I am a big guy. I was over 300 lbs and I lost close to 100 lbs but I was not muscular at all at that point. There was nothing there. I was just a big guy. I lost a bunch of weight and I started throwing again. I started throwing what I was when I was third in the nation. I was like man, if I'm doing this, I might as well get back into it.
Mike: You were throwing the same distance.
Nathan: Further, yes.
Mike: How old were you when you started that?
Mike: 37, okay. Because people don't normally pick up a sport, usually it's a new sport, definitely not the sport they were doing. Then be able to exceed where they were at.
Nathan: Yeah, it is really strange.
Mike: That old man strength.
Nathan: I think some people think I'm a lot of baggage on their way, which is why it's good to move on from it. But I really didn't have any baggage until I was able to pick it up and go okay, let's just keep going with it.
Mike: You're saying they had emotional baggage?
Nathan: Emotional baggage.
Mike: From the previous sport.
Mike: I could see that. I think I might have some.
Getting inspired again
Nathan: So when you started getting inspired again, how did that work in your head with your emotions? When you first started getting inspiration to start doing things, was it like lightning and you heard words or was it just little, small incremental things?
Mike: No, it was like lightning. I hopped in a float tank. I was in Austin, Texas.
Nathan: Oh, nice.
Mike: I hop in a float tank and then a 90 minute float. In the first five minutes, the main message dropped in. I go, okay, I get messages in here and I let them go. They come in … No, the entire float was that. It was like, do this next and then do this. A plan started formulating in my head. By the time I got out of the tank, I walked out and I go, "Well I know what I'm doing this weekend."
Mike: I'm building landing pages and I'm starting up a beta group. And they'd be like …
Nathan: Inspiration is so interesting because it can come in so many different forms. I write music and there was one song, I'd never experienced this before, I was sleeping and I woke up and I was singing the song that had already completely formed in my head. Sometimes inspiration is like that.
Nathan: But there are other inspirations where it's just a natural progression and it just feels good. To me, it's not really about how the information comes to you, it's just how does it feel? Does it feel exciting? Does it feel like it's going to be fun? Okay, well then do that.
Nathan: Which is why I say everybody should go out and just have fun, because that brings more of that fun to you.
What Is Our Purpose?
Nathan: Well, in any given moment you could be focused on something and that's very purpose-driven, right? But I think our purpose, if you want to call it a purpose, is to be creators. We are creators. We're always creating stuff. To me, I used to be defined as the composer. Everybody knew me, that was my purpose, as the composer. At one point, i let that go and I said, you know what, I'm okay being a composer, but I'm not okay excluding everything else.
Nathan: There's so many other things that I really enjoy. So I started cooking again. I love cooking. I love making a nice crème brulee. I love doing that. I love a million other things like art. I never used to sing because I didn't think people would like my voice. Now I sing. I do all kinds of other things that I really enjoy. It's not really, to me, about you have one purpose in life. Like when they asked when you were a kid what are you going to be when you grow up and that's your purpose. That's crap.
Mike: Your parents are probably fucking you up with that question.
Nathan: I've got one thing I'm going to do my whole life and that's it.
Mike: I think as well, people look at other people. They see them as one thing. They see the musician and that's his thing. Then you find out that he's also a rock climber and people are like, "What?"
Nathan: Right? "Oh my gosh, you have other facets of your life? I need to categorize you very easily so I can objectify you and use you only for one thing. So I can use you." Right?
That's what we do
Nathan: Because that's what most people do. They use people for the one thing that they are. It's easier that way. It's easy to categorize someone and say this is who they are and I'm going to use that person for that one thing. When we become who we really are, it has nothing to do with any of that. We are creators. We are people who, we follow a path but it's not the type of path we're taught growing up. It's the path of joy. It's the path of finding things we're truly excited and curious about.
Nathan: When we were kids before any of this stuff, we were so curious about a million different things. Somehow, we lose that. I'm just trying to get back there, right? I think that's who we are innately as people. As human beings. We're curious. Those pathways of desire and joy and fun really are what makes us individuals. Because no one person's desires are exactly the same as another person's desire. It's not even possible because we've gone through so many different things in our lives. It's those desires that really lead us to the fun things. The joy and adventure in our lives.
Mike: What I see is a lot of people aren't in touch with how they feel. They're very in their head. There's this hyper focus on what do you think. What is the logic, what is … We have to have reason. Do you see that getting in the way of people getting in touch with … I think about purpose and I tell people don't have a purpose. Have a sense of purpose. There's a feeling that comes with that, which is similar to what you're saying.
The problem with relying heavily on logic
Nathan: Sure. I see what the problem is, is that we put a lot of weight on logic. Logic is the end-all-be-all. Science is amazing and I love logic and I love all of that stuff. However, what science does is it says, "Well, let's test out these things and see if we can do these things that coordinate with that." To me, that's actually a slow way of creating things.
Nathan: If you can just say, "This is the thing I want to do and I'm going to stick to it, whatever that thing is," if you can focus on that long enough, the ways to get there will appear. You don't have to go through science, you don't have to go through logic. You don't have to do any of that stuff. But when you get there, it will look like you've been using logic and science the whole time because it's just a natural progression. It makes so much sense, the way you took to get there.
Nathan: The biggest creators of all time, like Einstein, always talked about imagination being the true power. It's that imagination, us being willing and able to see exactly what we want even tho people think you're crazy. Focusing on it long enough and you get there.
Mike: When I think about … I come from a scientific field. So I went really deep in it. I mean, deep for me. I went deep enough into it to start seeing the limitations. I go, "Oh." We have to create a study. We have to control all variables except for this one that we're going to study. Then we have to repeat that experiment how many times? Then we make one more variation.
Tapping into the subconscious
Mike: Which is a very slow way of computing. It's a very slow computational process. We're all doing it together. Then, what I'm hearing you say, is the imagination. The tapping into the subconscious mind. The processing that we are capable of in the background. Reading information that's coming from our bodies, our feelings, sensations, emotions. What seems like magic to me is I want to understand it more and I am understanding it more all the time, but it still fucking blows me away in that by me putting way more intention into my body and into intuition, is what most people would refer to it as.
Nathan: That's what you call it, yeah.
Mike: When I'm tapping into that, my ability to process information is lightning fast. "You could say, well how did you get to that thing?" And I'd go, "I just know." And that's okay. Or let's try this out and see what happens.
Nathan: You have to use wording like that or people don't quite understand you. Saying it's my intuition or my gut says we should do this, people don't always understand.
Mike: No, they don't want to hear that.
Nathan: Which is okay. Look, our sight and smell and taste and touch, it's all just translation of vibrations around us. We know from science that we only actually intentionally let in a very tiny percentage of all of those things. When we see something, we only have a tiny sliver, a thumbnail. We only take a thumbnail amount of information from our sight whereas there's so much else around us. So our brain can naturally take in all of it because you can't do that with your eyes but your brain can do it.
Focus Is Our Superpower
Mike: All right so, we're rewinding a little bit. You were talking about if somebody could really focus in on something long enough …
Nathan: To me, focus is the power that creates worlds. That is our power. That's our superpower as humans. If you can focus on that thing, whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish, you may not understand right now how to get there, and that's okay. But if you're focused on it, you get clues one clue at a time and you start moving towards it. And you know it's a clue because it feels good and it feels like whatever that end thing is. It's that vibration thing.
Nathan: To me, when you think of something you want, it becomes a vibration. It's a thought and it becomes a real vibration. You can feel how it feels, vibrationally speaking. When you get a clue, it will feel aligned with that end thing. That thing that you want. So you know every step of the way that you're moving closer to it and because the longer you focus on something, really honestly, not only the more you want it but the more you actually believe you're going to have it.
Nathan: It's really interesting to understand that focus is just focus. It's not going out and working really hard with focus. It's just the focus. Just that focus will allow you to do the things, like have an adventure that is easy and fun if you expect it to be.
Mike: Well I think that focus plus hard work is … the mind is actually getting in the way.
Nothing wong with changing goals
Mike: How are you on that, setting a plan? They avoid setting a goal because "I'm afraid I'm going to quit or I'm going to change my goal." Is it okay to change goals?
Nathan: Yeah, of course, it's okay to change goals. There's no reason why you shouldn't change goals. As you grow, you do change as a person. In fact, to me, growing a business or moving along the path to whatever it is that you want changes you as a person. It just does. And that's good. That's actually what you're striving for. You're not necessarily trying to grow a business, you're trying to grow you.
Nathan: You're not necessarily trying to grow anything outside of yourself or an organization or any of that. You're growing you. Your goal is changing? Yeah, of course. That's natural. In fact, probably halfway down the road, you might discover something that just turns you on even way more than that thing and that's okay too. There's no reason why you can't zig-zag up a mountain, right?
Mike: You were talking about having a plan, having a vision and feeling good. Do you remember when The Secret came out? Everyone was like, "I got to have a vision board. I got to put my intention on this. If I put my mind on this, then it's going to happen."
Mike: One of the things he said in the last few years, he goes, "Yeah that was…" He contributed to that. He was like, yeah that was kind of half the story. He goes, "The other half, you actually have to believe it." You have to experience it. You have to have the sensation of it and it needs to feel good.
The resistance to "the word"
Mike: Do you think people have a … Why do you think people have a … They're not ready to accept-
Nathan: A reticence to the word? Maybe because the Beach Boys sang Good Vibrations, I don't know. It was kind of a hippie word. "Ah, good vibrations, man."
Mike: Do you think there's a religious thing happening there? Religion and spirituality?
Nathan: Yeah, I do think, especially religious people have this dichotomy of, "Oh, I must believe in God. I must believe in Jesus or whatever and that is my whole belief system." They say things like law of attraction, "Oh, I can't believe in that because that replaces this other thing."
Nathan: I don't think it really does. To me, completely separate things. You can believe whatever you want to believe. Certainly, law of attraction is somewhat religious in the fact that it is a basis for a life and how you create things. But yeah, the word vibration to a religious person, especially evangelicals, have a really hard time with it because they feel like it's replacing Jesus. That's fine.
Mike: I think what's happened in modern society is okay, if we can explain it, understand it, whatever, it goes in this science bucket. If it's something where you have to-
Nathan: Have faith.
Mike: Have a little bit of faith and now that turns into spirituality or religion.
Nathan: So now it gets into religion and it can't be religion.
Mike: It's all confusion now. "Well, this is how the universe works." What is the universe?
Nathan's core philosophy
Mike: How do you back … Do you have a core philosophy for how you view the world and how you think the universe works? It sounds like you have-
Nathan: I'm a law of attraction guy.
Mike: You're pretty well-developed in how you think about certain things and usually there's this core philosophy sitting there at the bottom that's allowing all that.
Nathan: The only real core philosophy I have is that like attracts like and that everything's working out for me. That's really it. Everything else is subject to change. They could do whatever. I am totally fine believing in very different stuff. I don't really care. To me, I know that there's a desire and I know that there's a belief. I know if I bridge the two that I can have whatever I want. That's it. That's really it.
Mike: The bridging to the belief. That's the part that most people struggle with. Going back to the depressed person, they go … "I believe…" and my response is, "If you say so." That's the only …
Nathan: Exactly. If you say so. And that's true. That exact statement is correct. If you say so. Or if you believe so.
Mike: Most people, it goes right over their head. Then there's the 10% that cock their head and go, "What do you mean?" If say something, it's like try saying something different.
Nathan: Right. Tell a different story.
Mike: Tell a different story. Yeah.
Game Changers: Nathan's Upcoming Show
Mike: I think we're down in the end. What's next for you? You have a show that's coming out.
Nathan: I have a show called Game Changers. I'm inviting gold medalists and business gurus and people. Hopefully, I'll have you on. I would love to have you on there. Just talking about that specific mentality of how do I go beyond where anyone else has been before? The Star Trek thing, right? Go where no man has gone before. How do you get there? How does the mentality look like?
Nathan: Everybody uses different words, but I think in general, when you get down to what those words really mean and what they're trying to say, it's all the same thing. It's that you have to find a way to believe and expect you to get to this thing that you're focused on. Really, the focus, I guess, is the power as we talked about before. If you can focus and you can believe … Well, first of all, if you focus, then you can believe. And if you can believe, then you can expect. Once you expect, then you'll get it.
Mike: Absolutely. Where can people find this?
Nathan: On Facebook, you can search for Game Changers. There's a page where it's all airing. It starts on October 1st.
Mike: That's it?
Nathan: That's it. Every Tuesday, Thursday 6:00 PM. Right there at Game Changers.
Mike: Any website or anything people need to check out like that?
Nathan: Nope. Just keeping it all social media at the moment but I'm still building it out. I still have a few weeks left so I haven't set everything up yet. It will be simulcasting to YouTube and Mixer but I haven't set those channels up yet.