These are the questions I had to go through for my upcoming podcast interview. They will not be verbatim and acted merely as a guideline during the actual interview. I had a lot of laughs answering these questions. So for the fun of it I decided to publish them here:
Podcast Interview Questions - Not in any particular sequence!
1. What's something people seem to misunderstand about you?
For those who don’t know me they often think that I am a serious person. In reality I am pretty easy going and funny guy.
2. What watch are you wearing?
I am a big fan of G Shock. I own six of them.
3. I find that not always focusing on the positive, actually leads to more engaging conversations. I don’t wanna lob too many softballs up to you like a RTM TV hosts.
4. Where are you from? I want to know who that person is, his culture, his background. It makes the person I am talking to more human. (places and origin stories)
I was born in Terengganu although my parents are from the West Coast. I grew up in Chukai, Kemaman prior to the discovery of oil. So it was a small backwater place when I grew up there.
5. How can we continue to follow your journey?
I have a blog called Dreams of Mirrors. Most of my mainstream thoughts and ideas I record there. It is sharudinjamal.blogspot.com
6. What was the one lesson (failure or missed opportunity) that taught you the most?
My most regrettable missed opportunity was when I became the agent for Hitachi Data System. I was given the Banking Sector. Unknowingly then all the banks used IBM AS400 mini computers and they were not compatible with Hitachi mini data storage. Therefore I cannot sell a single box. Because of that I gave up the position. Three months later Hitachi came up with their Star Topology Architecture and it blew away IBM Shark data storage out of the water.
The lesson here is don’t give up too soon. God’s delay is not God’s denial.
7. What’s it like to be you? In the Past, present and.... future maybe
Gosh… When I was younger I was reckless. Basically I had very little to fear. I did very stupid death defying stunts in my life LOL. Let say now I am wiser. I don’t even have speeding and parking tickets anymore. I used to pay RM3,000 worth of speeding tickets. I had mellowed much. I would say in the future I like to see myself as a more prudent person. Sort of a person who had been there and done that and be at peace with my own existence.
8. What should I ask you that I didn't know enough to ask?
As you know I suffered from a very peculiar illness called Bipolar Affective Disorder. I don’t think you know enough about mental illness to ask me about my experience as a victim of this insidious illness.
9. What makes you an outlier?
Well, I am a divergent thinker. Orson Wells and Warren Buffet said, “The majority is always wrong”. So as much as possible I try to beat the crowd in any whichever way.
As Marcus Aurelius said, “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the rank of the insane”.
10. Tell me about a person that touched your heart, and tell me about a person that changed your practice.
I think the first role model I ever had was Dr George Sheehan; a runner who writes and a writer who runs. In his book he said, “All our lives we are searching for heroes only to realize in the end that the hero is us”. Even my writing style presently is heavily influenced by him.
The person that changed my practice recently was this girl by the name of Els Dines. She is a DJ in TraXXfm. Her philosophy in life that she keeps on repeating is “If you can't find a kind person, be the kind person". The caveat here is IF YOU CAN’T. That means you got to be kind to a person who is cruel to you. I practiced that and guess what? Providence moves in. All of a sudden now the world I live in is much kinder to me.
11. What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?
I am inspired by ideas. I read a lot and I am pretty much a thinker. So whenever I read, I am looking for gold nuggets. To me reading is like panning for gold. Therefore I have this inclination to believe whatever I read unless it is too radical. So when I read, it is active reading. Pretty much like a sieving process. The best part is I can read things I wrote over and over again without losing enthusiasm.
12. If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why?
My billboard will be SIMPLIFY ~ DO! Man, too many people are in the business of making things complex and end up becoming more confused. Be mindful that what counts at the end of the day is the ability to take action.
13. At this point in your journey - what are you tired of? And what are you excited about?
Hmmm… Interesting question. I have to say watching people bicker about politics and religion. I wish people will get on with their lives and accept diversity at large.
I am pretty excited about this concept of Voluntary Simplicity; outwardly poor but inwardly rich. I think if I follow this concept, I can minimize my dependency on money and still be greatly fulfilled.
14. What questions should I ask future guests?
I think you should ask your guests to share their lives when they were teenagers moving towards young adulthood. That is when most of us the most adventurous.
15. If you could turn back the time and talk to your 18-year old self, what would you tell him/her?
I will say DO NOT SMOKE CIGARETTES. This is my biggest regret in life. So many lost moments because I was a teen smoker.
16. If in 150 years sciences fails to save us & all that is left is a book about your life....What would the title be and what would the blurb tell us about Sharudin.
This is tough… The title is Simple Sapiens and it will talk about keeping things simple as a member of the human race – Do Good Do, Do No Harm.
17. What does being Ridiculously Human mean to you?
I tempted to Google this but I decided to be impromptu about it. My take is humans had evolved so much that we don’t realize that by becoming a complex organism we end up harming each other and mother earth with the byproducts of our existence.
18. What'd you want to be written on your epitaph?
Here is a man who don’t give a fuck and don’t fuck up.
I know it is not grammatically correct but that is the way it should be written.
I know it is not grammatically correct but that is the way it should be written.
19. What impact has your mother had in shaping who you are today? (origin stories, nurture questions)
My mom always let me be independent. For example from a very young age (10 years old) I was given the task to go and do the weekly groceries. As I grew older, she let me decide things for myself. For example when I was 12, I made my own IC. So my birth name is Sharuddin with a double D. Because I don’t like redundancy I CHANGED that to Sharudin on my own. Until today whenever my mom writes my name it is with double D LOL.
20. What challenge do you have for me and anyone listening?
Instead of going for more and more expensive, go for less and less frequent. Start with eating one meal a day (OMAD).
21. If you had RM100million to spend on health tech and no red tape, how would you spend it?
I would focus my effort on educating all parents on proper nutrition for their kids. Then I will introduce nutrition as one of the mandatory subject in schools. I will also introduce 30 minutes running sessions before class starts. Finally I will do an all-out campaign against smoking and alcohol drinking.
22. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life? What was your life like before learning it? What was your life like after learning it
I learned that whatever your problem in life, love is the answer. Even if it is a money problem. Before I learn about this there is always fear of being rejected, doubt about being judged and uncertainty about how to react. However once I embrace Unconditional Love, I moved with Unsurpassed Feeling of Certainty and I don’t care about being judged anymore. At the same time I am more forgiving and more compassionate.
23. Why in the Hell did you choose to accept my invitation to come on this show?
You promised that we gonna have fun and I figured for a little adventure at this point of my life, it is worth taking a shot LOL.
24. What is your best tip for making the world a better place? (if you had the power)
Hello everybody! KEEP THE TEMPERATURE DOWN or else we all will be wearing space suits by 2050!
25. If you can do anything to improve health and healthcare in Malaysia, what would you do? (if you had the power)
My crusade now is to increase the awareness among Malaysian on the rising issue of Mental Health. It used to be 1 out of 5 people are having some form of mental disorder. Now it is 1 out of 4. My job now as a bipolar survivor is to reach out to those people and their families and help them realize that there is a solution and professional help available.
26. What do you do to stay creative? (habits)
I read, I run and I write on daily basis. The idea here is not to sit still. You have to keep on moving. Also I listen to TraXXfm as my cybernetic loop feedback.
27. What was one money lesson you learned growing up (good or bad) that you have carried over into your Financial Independence journey?
As far as I can recall, I never had problem with money. I can always find money since I was a college student. I didn’t choose work as long as it pays well and it is legal. However as I grow older I realized money can diminish and no money is despairing. So I make a point to not owe people money and I will always live below my means.
28. If i could remove all barriers and constraints what project would you do and would you want to be known only by that project (magic wand question)
The project that is close to my heart will be to improve the well-being of Malaysians through diet and lifestyle change. The ultimate goal is to make every citizen healthy and happy.
29. What is the best compliment you have ever received?
This happened many times, “You don’t look like a person with bipolar disorder”. LOL
30. Name your "never again" moment.
I guess I will never ride a bike at 230 km/h. That was scary.
31. Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with the theme of the podcast. (vulnerability)
Well, I am also an amateur cartoonist. I like to draw cartoons and sketches.
32. Who is or has been the most influential person in your life and why? (influences)
I say that will be Dean Karnazes. Everywhere he goes he runs and he can run 50 marathons in 50 days. After the last marathon he ran back from New York to Missouri before taking a flight back to California. There’s nothing more that excites me than to run, run and run.
What's the funniest or weirdest thing to ever happen to you in the classroom? (emotion)
I can’t think of any at this moment.
34. What do you want to do before you die? (bucket list)
I want to visit NNW Seattle and NNE Sapporo. Then I want to pay Jerusalem a visit.
35. If you could have dinner with any 3 people dead or alive who would it be and why (deep dive)
That will be Richard Dawkins, Dan Brown and Shunryu Suzuki. These are authors that had shaped my mental model.
36. Best teachable moment you have ever had (moments)
I would say that will be the Samurai Warrior Challenge. The lesson is so simple yet so powerful. Shinu Kikai O Motomo – The Samurai Credo.
37. If you could choose one race in the world, price, distance, entry requirements don't matter, what would it be?
The London Marathon of course.
38. What's alive in you, in your life, right at this moment? What’s the thing you’re currently in the midst of discovering or rediscovering?
I would say my discovery that I am a better writer than an orator. As a writer I write every day. By being a writer I am a creator and not merely a consumer.
39. What would you pick for a last meal?
Nasi lemak Ah Lim; with boiled egg, sambal ikan bilis petai, rendang daging and sambal kerang hahaha. Since it is my last meal, to hell with clogging the arteries.