Mindrolling – Ep. 164 – Dan Harmon and Duncan Trussell

Dan Harmon

Our podcast guru, Duncan Trussell, introduces Raghu to writer and producer Dan Harmon. Dan is known for his cutting humor and honest introspection. Our trio sits down in Dan’s studio for a conversation about work, introspection, and finding happiness.

Coming from a background of not making enough money and working undesirable jobs, Dan tries to find balance with his life and workload now that everyone wants to hire him for something.  Dan shares his recent struggle of being aware of, and respecting, the feelings and experience of his employees. The group discusses mindfulness and being aware of the destructive patterns that play out in our lives. Tune in for all this and more on this week’s unique episode of the Mindrolling Podcast with Dan Harmon!

Show Notes

07:30 – Dan talks a bit about his relationship with work and his “workaholism”. It can be hard to turn away any creative work away when you remember what it’s like not having any.

12:30 – The group discusses the idea of mindfulness and finding satisfaction in even the most menial of tasks. There is fulfillment in being present and at one with our work. Dan reminisces about an impactful conversation with a very honest telemarketer about her place in life.

17:05 – Dan romanticizes a future where every person has moral dealbreakers on how they spend their time. In an economy where most are forced into sacrificing more of themselves than they may wish, what would the world look like under different circumstances?

19:40 – Duncan accidentally uncovers the anarchist roots of Twitter.

21:05 – Raghu talks to Dan more about “workaholism”. Dan is currently working on how his “workaholism” is affecting the people who work for him. He is especially sensitive to his actions because of how much abuse workers in the entertainment industry receive already.

26:30 – Duncan expresses what it is like being caught in the machine that is corporate entertainment. How does one acknowledge and respect every individual involved in such a high-intensity position?

30:05 – Raghu points out that the first step in approaching the issue of fully recognizing others in the moment is having the intention to make that person a priority.  Dan opens up about his difficulty being mindful of this dilemma.

35:40 – We go around everyday projecting what others are thinking and allowing them to influence how we interact with the world. This is why the mindfulness movement is gaining so much popularity. Allowing us to understand what is really going on in our mind and what motivates us. Duncan and Dan share where they are at in their lives on the subject of mindfulness.

38:50 – There are these recursive videotapes of habit that we run throughout our lives. Duncan exposes about how uneasy he feels thinking about this concept of the replaying tapes, and the work it takes to break the loop they catch us in.

45:30 – Dan has difficulty in putting his finger on what exactly he wants, is that a sign that he may already have it? Duncan relates Dan’s dilemma to Buddhist and Bhakti teachings.

50:15 – Forget trying to reach Nirvana while we are still asking, “why am I not happy?” We need to focus on simple steps, looking inside is the first step on that path to happiness. Raghu explains Jack Kornfield’s question of “How do we make friends with suffering?”

55:35 – Dan Harmon is known for talking about truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. He shares his view of truth as a life-saving mechanism. It is difficult for Dan to see the duplicity in so much of our modern world, which fuels his pursuit of honesty and truth.

1:00:20 – When we remain blind to our self-centeredness we create deeper layers of complexity to our suffering. Duncan relates Dan’s position to Copernicus’s theory of Heliocentrism. Dan expresses his difficulty in separating himself from the “I”.  Raghu reminds us that we all are going through the same trip and explains how his practice has changed the way he navigates life.

Dan Harmon is a writer, show runner, and producer. Harmon is best known for creating and producing NBC comedy series Community, co-creating Adult Swim animated television series Rick and Morty, and co-founding the alternative television network/website Channel 101. Keep an eye out for Dan’s hilarious new animated show HarmonQuest and Youtube series Great Minds with Dan Harmon!

Also, check out Dan and Duncan’s chat about “workaholism”, being in the moment, and more on the 200 episode anniversary of the “Duncan Trussell Family Hour

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Photo via Harmontown