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Discovering My Superpower: The Unexpected Gifts of Neurodiversity | Staeven Frey

Today’s Guest Staeven Frey

Staeven is the Founder and the Chief Brand Scientist at Quantum Branding. He helps brands become authentic and memorable category leaders through the power of BrandScience™ - the core of what fuels a successful brand's growth, sales and marketing. He's passionate about helping purpose-driven brands to get to the next level, disrupt their market and leverage the power of BrandScience to become an industry authority.

In the vast expanse of human experience, there lies an intriguing element often overlooked: neurodiversity. It’s a concept that's gaining ground, yet many of us are still deciphering what it truly means. In a recent episode of 'Push To Be More,' I had the privilege of speaking with Staeven Frey, a remarkable individual who opened up about his journey in discovering his neurodiverse identity.

The Revelation of Neurodiversity

Staeven’s story is a vivid illustration of the latent gifts that neurodiversity can bestow upon us. He shared how the realisation of being neurodiverse later in life cast a new light on his childhood and adult experiences. This newfound understanding was not just about feeling unique; it was about aligning with a sense of normalcy, a recognition that he shares common ground with a vast and varied community.

A Tapestry of Experiences

What struck me most about Staeven’s narrative was his candidness in discussing the multifaceted nature of his experiences. Neurodiversity isn't a one-dimensional attribute; it’s a complex tapestry interwoven with our interactions, our projects, our aspirations, and our day-to-day life. It’s about seeing the world through a lens that's both unique and relatable.

Embracing the Uniqueness

A significant aspect of our discussion revolved around the idea of embracing one's neurodiverse traits. Staeven spoke about the power of accepting and valuing his unique perspective on life. It’s a powerful reminder that what makes us different can also be our greatest strength.

Finding Connection and Community

Perhaps the most profound insight from our conversation was the concept of finding human connectedness in our similarities and differences. Staeven highlighted how his personal preferences, challenges, and innate qualities resonate with others, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding.

Thriving with Neurodiversity

The discussion with Staeven was more than an exploration of neurodiversity; it was a journey into understanding how one can thrive by embracing their unique mental makeup. It’s a testament to the idea that what we often perceive as a disadvantage can be transformed into our greatest asset.

This episode of 'Push To Be More' is not just a podcast; it’s a gateway to understanding the multifaceted nature of the human mind. Staeven’s journey is a beacon for anyone navigating the waters of neurodiversity, offering hope, inspiration, and a fresh perspective on what it means to be uniquely gifted.

Join us in this captivating conversation and embark on a journey of discovery, where the unexpected gifts of neurodiversity are unveiled.

#PushToBeMore #Neurodiversity #MentalHealthAwareness #PodcastLife

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Well, hello are welcome to Push to be More with me, your host, Matt Edmundson, and we're about to dive into another deep exploration of what fuels the journey of life. And joining me today, I have my good friend and exciting guest, Steven Frey from quantum branding agency, we are going to laugh a lot, I have no doubt but we're going to be diving into his unique life experiences, the hurdles he's had to push through and the ways he recharges His Spirit, His batteries, and what growth looks like the usual formula, we're gonna get into the whole thing. Now, don't forget, you can find the detailed show notes and a complete transcript of our conversation. Oh, yes at push to be Love how the music's timing in here. And whilst you're there, if you haven't done so already, make sure you sign up to the newsletter. And each week, we'll zip all of the shows, insights links, anger is direct to your inbox totally for free, which is totally cool. Now, this episode is powered by Aurion Media, the magic behind the scenes that lets entrepreneurs and business leaders like you and me amplify our voices by hosting your own podcast. But why would you want to start your own podcast you might be thinking, well, let me tell you my own podcasting journey has been nothing short of transformational. It's not just about marketing for marketing sake, but it's about community. It's about connection. It's about meaningful conversation. And it's given me a platform to celebrate my customers, my team, my suppliers, and created a ripple of impact far beyond what I could have imagined. But I get it the technical stuff can feel daunting set up distribution, getting the tech right, understanding the strategy seems like a lot, right. And honestly, don't get me started on production. No one wants to do that, including yours, truly. And that's where Aurion Media steps in. They're the backstage crew that makes sure your show goes on flawlessly. You get to do what you love, which is having meaningful conversations, engaging with incredible people and Aurion Media takes care of all the nitty gritty details. So if you've been wondering whether podcasting is the missing puzzle piece in your growth strategy, have a chat with Aurion Media, check them out at Aurion That's a u r IO n So that's the show sponsor. Let's talk about the guest. Stephen is the Founder and Chief Brand scientist at Quantum branding. He helps brands become authentic and a memorable category leader through the power of check it out brand science, the core of what fuels successful brands growth, sales and marketing. He's passionate about helping purpose driven brands, get to the next level, disrupt their market, and leverage the power of brand science to become an industry authority. Steven, welcome to Push to be More man. How are we doing today?

I'm good. And thank you so much. That is that is probably one of the thickest sentences I've ever written, like tapioca pudding, grammar all put together. It

is it is thick. It's fascinating, isn't it? When you you read people's bios? And I'm reading that going is I'm having this internal dilemma. Is it leverage or leverage? Because in the States, you say it one way in the UK, we say the other but I've got so confused recently. I just don't know whether I'm coming or going with words like

that. So a little rule of thumb that if you pronounce it, there's I forget the term, it's a linguistic term, even if you say it incorrectly, and people can still tell what it is just keep moving. Like ask if some people say X? Oh, yeah, like, Oh, I'd love to ask you a question. Yeah. Like, I still can understand what you're saying move on. Same thing with misspelling like don't like, like we make such a big hullabaloo about that sounds like a British word hullabaloo?

Maybe it is?

I don't know. But yeah, so just keep moving. That's, that's,

yeah, there's always a plan. So what you do when you're when you're probably just keep going, keep going, keep moving. Keep the conversation flowing. And it's, it's a good way to do it. So listen, let's start with the all popular podcast quick question. Why should you get blinded by sunlight there? Let's start with the all popular podcast question. If you could if you had a podcast of your own, right, because Aurion Media sponsor the show the podcast agency, if you had your own podcast, and you could have any guests on the show, past or present that's had a big influence on your life. Who would you have on as a guest? Who would you have a chat with and why?

So I just came up with this now I think I would have a podcast and I'd have to get out upwith production help and all that backstage stuff from Aurion Media, obviously. It's going to be called probably yours is called Push to be More Mine would be called Paul to be less

to be less than have it

pulled to do last pulled out. We're still workshopping that one. So I would actually believe it or not, I would actually have Nikola Tesla on.


why if I could. So I'm just fascinated by fascinated by brilliant people. And I'm fascinated by neuro diverse people who were often misunderstood. I mean, even with Einstein, and many of the folks that we see that are considered geniuses, they often exhibit a lot of these neuro diverse traits and neuro diversity in for anybody listening, not familiar that term. It's kind of an all encompassing, Starburst of different ways that people are wired, whether it's ADH, add, dyslexia, autism, there's a variety of whether it's social, occupational, informational, you know, physical, just, there's different ways that we're wired, that most people are wired, typically. So term, one term is neurotypical. So people who are wired differently as neuro diverse and so like Einstein, was often childish and stuck out his tongue. That's a that's a very neurodiverse trait, that juvenile that what that sense of wonder and so to Tesla, even though I'm mentioning Einstein here, Tesla's just wanted to go like, I don't feel like he got enough notability a little vocab help. Don't say notoriety, that's actually bad. You want notability top tip, don't say notoriety. So like, I don't I don't think Tesla got the the attention he deserved. And now he has his name put on an electric vehicle, I don't know that you would have been okay with that. But it is what it is. So, like, just there's some things there that I would have loved to ask, like, tell me about, you know, your hypotheses. How did you, you know, what motivated you and and honestly, I think everyone has, if they're a genius, or neurodiverse person who's, we all have our hyper fixations and different things that we love to dive into and even know everyone has things that we love and for some reason, he was in love with kind of electricity and currents and waves and transmission and these ideas of singles and I just would have loved to, to just hear and absorb and discover and and learn what his his mind was like, so that would be my first signature keynote guest, Mr. Paul to do less

puts to put to be less your first guest. Done fair play. I think it's I think it's blinding them blind in show that it's,

it's do less because yours is Push to be More. Mine is all the opposites. Okay. Oh, to do SS

Yeah. Okay, cool. Yes. Yeah. That's good. The yin to my Yang for one to a better expression.

You're all day, folks.

Yeah, here all day. Don't forget to tip your waiter. And now is because I love our conversations. They just go everywhere. So you said neurodiverse. Right. You want to talk to him? Because he was a neuro diverse chat. Why do you want to leave?

I'm pretty sure. Yeah.

But why? You brought that up about Einstein, a lot of the geniuses. I've just watched the movie a few months ago, the hoppin Heimer Oppenheimer movie, obviously, something with that chat mazing what went on, but obviously there's slightly neurodiverse why why? What intrigues you about neuro diversity?

Um, so. So for me, that's actually part of my journey, is discovering that I am in fact neurodiverse. It's something kind of like how, and I don't want to polarise the conversation too much. But the more we understand how people are born, and how they're wired, we've come to discover that they're more there are more expressions of humanity than we initially think. So just like with gender binary, it's male or female. Like, that's actually not the case. And there's there's diversity in the expression of of our genetics and gender identity and sexual orientation. And, and, and there's other ways that that's also influences is in our genetic expression and how we're wired with our capabilities and our senses and how our bodies are wired. And so those have been some of my discoveries is that I'm neurodiverse. And it's been part of my journey that now looking back, I see like, Oh, I see, like, my favourite colour is orange. And it's like, there's an orange thread, like, there's an orange thread throughout my life where I see consistency. And I see like, oh, that that actually is a more concrete, or that gives me more understanding or perspective now looking back with hindsight as a mature adult, on childhood experiences, social interactions, from things to employment to projects to, you know, life experiences in general, having more understanding with with learning about about that diagnosis later on in life.

Wow. So when did you find out? I mean, I guess you've always known. I don't want to put words in your mouth. Have you always known that that that you've had neurodiversity? Or was it something that needed to be defined? So that that then gives you an understanding of the past? If that makes sense? Yeah,

I don't. So it that's kind of a hard question to answer, because there's part of us wants to feel special part of us like we all want, we want to be affirmed, or we want to affirm children, that they are unique in their special. And that's not what this is, this isn't like a special a way that this is actually a way that I identify that I'm normal, that I'm just like a whole lot of other people. And there's actually a book out there. I can't recall the the author's I believe they're Japanese. But it's It's the courage to be disliked and the courage to be happy. Those are both two great books on Alfred Alfred Adler, who was kind of an opposite contemporary of Freud. And one of the things he said is that one of the ways our we find human connectedness is by identifying that we are the same as other people. And what's interesting is learning. There are some unique things that our preferences, our difficulties are the way I'm wired things I enjoy. There's actually a whole bunch of other people who do that as well. What are the kinds of the tips that started this movement have of me kind of taking a second look at things, I remember being in like second or third grade and complaining going to the nurse because I had a headache. And I would tell the nurse that I can hear the fluorescent bulbs vibrating. And it would give me such a headache. And sometimes the teacher would turn them off. Typically, she would leave them on, and depends in and it was typically when there was a bulb getting ready to burn out was when it flickered the most. But I could hear these, like the vibrations of things and, and would be told that I'm making that up. Now fast forward, I can go into a room and I can be like, Oh, that's an old filament bulb, I can hear it and feel it vibrating. And, and what's interesting is you and me, you and I may be talking, and I may be having a hard time hearing you talk. If we're in a coffee shop, or at a restaurant or a pub, and I can hear the dishwasher, I can hear the cash register, I can hear the music, and I know the lyrics going on, and I can hear the train going by. And so I discovered that I have a thing called SPD sensory processing disorder where it's like that, that that thing where you know, Mom says, you know, turn down the radio so I can see when we're driving the car, like some of us as we get older, you know, we need to concentrate more but it's that's the best example I can give. And so discovering that I had SPD led me to, you know, having a service dog and and really explained like, oh, wow, when I go out, I basically am picking up. Imagine multiple radios going at once. I'm picking up all the other stations and I'm unable to tune into my own. Wow. So how do I manage that? So learning how to manage that and, you know, from adjusting my environments to you know, even having music on in the background that has no lyrics. There's a joke that you know, there's emotional support TV and emotional support radio and everything can be emotional support, like creating a sensory environment for myself that actually helps me flourish. Even wearing these earbuds I can wear them in public with my iPhone. I'm not sure if Android does this, but I can have background noises. And I turn on the ocean, very low and the noise cancelling. So I can go out and there's like a, you know, a very calming noise. Yeah, that helped keep my kind of my regulatory system, just kind of my parasympathetic nervous system, I can stay at a calmer state, because what actually has been happening is my whole life, I've been able to alert mode. I've been in alert mode so much, it's affected my health, it's affected my emotions, it's affected my, you know, my GI system and my intestines and my ability to digest because I can't digest if I'm not resting, you know, and having, you know, autoimmune responses, because why am I my, my body is stuck in trauma mode. And so that's one of the things that I've discovered, was SPD at first and then that led me to slowly discover more truths and kind of put the pieces together, that helps explain like, oh, there's a whole bunch of other people who know exactly what this is like, and I'm not alone. And there's tools and resources out there for for us and support from each other, in dealing in dealing with some of the realities that are unique to me and others who are also diverse.

Wow. If, I mean, if I'm listening to you talking going, goodness me, there's how do you because I don't I don't have what you don't have that going on, I don't have that constant noise. If I'm sat down with somebody, I can pretty much my wife tells me I've got selective hearing, you know, just tune into the bits that I want to tune into. And so I'm listening to you talk that could not have been easy to grow up with it, you know, as a kid, I don't. I'm thinking back to when I was a kid, and I appreciate this. This is gonna be slightly longer ago, Steven, because I grew up in the 70s and 80s. And they did not have phrases like neuro diverse in the 70s and 80s. You know, that, that just didn't exist. So what was it like growing up with with all of that?

Sure. Um, you know, I, it's weird is is until, until a fish trying to climb a tree is told that they're a fish, they don't know. So as far as I knew, as far as I knew, I thought I was just like everybody else. I thought that everyone else experienced things the way I did. It's interesting. I work in advertising and marketing and an intersection of neuroplasticity and memories and branding. And so what's funny is, I probably was a marketer's dream as a child because I remembered all the songs. But what's funny is now I'm an adult. And I remember all these cartoons and the songs and these commercials. And so now I'm in advertisers nightmare. So so it's because I work in their industry, and I'm, like, researching all this stuff. So, you know, there's, there's, I think growing up, I think there was some challenges for me that it was harder for me to understand some of I think the social norms of making friends. This is probably where a lot of folks including myself, there's a term we call and I've heard before in circles, about cosmic aloneness, like, nobody gets you like, nobody really sees you or gets you. And so, you know, we probably can all think of the child who, who loves to tell stories and wants to be heard. And, and it's kind of like that, like, you may see and experience beauty in certain ways. And as a child that you saw, and so, for me, you know, I thought doesn't everybody you know, memorise I have a book on my shelf I'm looking at it doesn't everybody memorise the book, you and your aquarium, and all the saltwater and fresh fishes and facts about them? Doesn't everyone do that? Doesn't everyone take out every book on dinosaurs possible when I would, you know, if you went back and looked like, like at the library card, this is how old we I am with a stamp on it from the librarian, or we used to call it the library. The you know, I would take out these books on dinosaurs and I'd be taking out the same book over and over and the same books. And they were all like green through purple gem tones like this whole series. I don't know. They weren't why they weren't pink or yellow or orange. They were all green, blue and purple and all these on the different you know, on the different dinosaurs. Doesn't everyone ask about you know, your favourite dinosaur like and and so There's some of the beauty of my childhood was that I latched on to information and things that words and information because that's the way that I describe the very, very big, big world that's inside me. And it's an if anybody who is familiar with, you know, kind of the more esoteric things like astrology and energy and they would say like, yes, there is there is an energy world, inside us and with chakras and things and, and what's interesting is the, if you look at folks who are newer, diverse, you know, there's science there to say that that like, you know, neurotypical people may be this wavelength and neurodiverse people are this wave, like, there's differences in, you know, the frequencies of our brainwaves are areas of our brain or, and there's more activity, even even going to sleep at night, are it's harder to sleep. I've always had a hard time going to sleep unless you take Lunesta, and then you like, go batshit crazy, and you see like a fluttering, hallucinate, seeing a little, you know, if you see the green butterfly, I don't even think they make Lunesta anymore for that reason, because too many people were hallucinating. But, you know, like, even brain activity, just like sleeping is higher. So there was there's positives and negatives, you know, I was obsessed with Legos, I collected the whole ice planet set, it was my favourite colours, it was like neon orange, and blue, black and white. And I saved all the boxes, like I saved all the boxes, and all the directions. And I had them all separate. And I'd like everything to be ordered. And so the internal world and the relationship with information and objects is really the kind of really the whereas, whereas others may have, you know, relationships with people, yeah. And that be very natural. That's natural. For me, and many others who are neurodiverse, or autistic. There's, there's a more easier relationship with things, ideas, information, and that's concrete. And so it's, it's easier to live in that concreteness. And then many times the challenges come with these made up social norms. I think I was 2120 or 21. I was a senior and undergrad. And my roommate had said a joke and I was incredibly offended. And I was like, upset. I'm washing the dishes, and I'm slamming things a little bit. And he's like, walking by and he stopped. He's like, You mad bro? I was like, yeah, he's like, are you mad at that joke? I made her I was like, Yeah, and he's like, joke, Steven joke. Sarcasm, it was so dark. And like, it dawned on me like wait a second, was I really, really ridiculed as bad as I thought as a child? Or was everybody like mostly sarcastic and maybe I was made fun of like, 20% or 10%. You know, like, the standard bell curve. Everyone's teased a little bit and the most of it was sarcasm and so like, even things like sarcasm and social norms and social cues have been a challenge. Looking back, I'm like, Oh, they were probably joking. Like, it's so so there is some relief. There is some relief that comes from like, oh, I wasn't crazy. I did hear the light bulbs. Yeah. And then okay, I'm not being too dramatic. I actually am having a sensory overload right now. And oh, I can tease with with Matt because I'm believing 98% of the time he's sarcastic. So then it's probably so right. Now I'm very good on detecting dad anger like the holy dad anger. Starts with this conversation starts with you came home last night it ends with your grounded feeling in the middle.

My dad conversations are huge. Yeah, they can with my kids when they were those conversations and I wanted them to understand things were not going well. I would say to them, you and I are going to have a conversation and you will not enjoy it. And that was my

because I say that. I say that non verbally most of the time. Like, you and I are going to have a conversation about saltwater fish and you're probably not going to enjoy it. I assume everyone's going to enjoy it actually.

Well, why not?

Why not? So do like to hear about Rosie Barb's and survey tetras. I mean that Come Thou Fount of every blessing here. Yeah, maybe

maybe on a different podcast.

I should get them up and see if there's a you and your aquarium podcast we'll get you totally

shut up. Because yeah, absolutely. So actually, this is like, I was intrigued by a statement, you said that this has been both good and bad that this has been both a blessing and a curse. Right? That actually. And that was one of the things I don't know if you ever read the book, David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell in effectual your, he was talking about people with dyslexia, amongst other things in the book, wasn't it? And how actually, that could be their superpower. And it doesn't have to define them in a way that disadvantages them permanently and all the time. Have you found that with the SPD, that it's, it's also, it's also it's your kryptonite, and it's your superpower?

Yeah, here's, here's an interesting take on it. So what's interesting is I look at the work that I do. And if I stand back and say like, Okay, so before I knew all this 2004, I got one of my first jobs and an agency and, you know, I'm reading the book, designing brand identity by Alina Wheeler, and I'm reading it. And I'm just intrigued, and I'm fascinated. But I'm left with this question. Why like, okay, yes, this is the process of how you do branding. But Alena, Come on, help me out. Why, why? How does it work? Like why? So fast forward? I start my own agency in 2009. And, in my whole kind of see my whole career, but yeah, the whole trajectory of what I've done, has been focused on understanding how does truly effective branding work and why. And then I realised holy cow, I was hyper fixated. I was like, you know, in people with ADHD and ADD, they can be hyper fixated, many neurodiverse people be Yeah, we all can be, but it's predominantly a trait where we just kind of put our heads down, and we research it to the nth degree. And I look back and I say, Huh, so professionally, I take a look at how to create a brand's sensory experience. Yeah. Word shape, colour sound music story. And the one area of my life that I'm wired differently is in the area of sensory experiences, like so. So yeah, absolutely. It's, it's the superpower and also, you know, a challenge. You know, it's, it's kind of like a tool, you can't treat everything, like if you all you have a hammer, if the only tool you have is, you know, a hammer, you can't take that to class, you need some other tools. And for myself, you know, I honestly think for the longest time, I only had a hammer, I only knew how to navigate the world. Yeah, is the tools that I was given the tools that I explained, and until I couldn't learn and find out myself that Oh, wow, there's other ways to talk, like even just talking. Like, here's a really good example. I had somebody give me feedback once. And you know, we're being vulnerable about things here. I had somebody say, like, Steven, when you talk and she's like, you know, this is feedback, you can take it, you don't have to take it, you know, I want to, I want you to know that this may be true, this may be not this has been, but when you talk, sometimes you fire hose me, I feel fire host. And I don't feel like there's space. And I know that you care about me a lot. And if I told you this, you would be able to be more calm, cognizant of how to create more space in conversation with people. Now, what's interesting, is that concept of creating space and having conversation is actually a really really neurotypical thing. I can sit down with another neurodiverse person, and we can do one of several things. One, I can info dump on them and they can info dump on me and we feel love. We're like, Oh, awesome. Fish dinosaurs. Yes, yeah. Or I can listen to the same you know, we could listen to the same albums over and over and over and over. They could also give me a really, really big squishy, like, really big bear hug. And like super compressed me and be it. They can do that. There's there's several ways that like neurodiverse people, I just I just click, I just click and I get them. But to live in a world with everyone. We have to be I have to be more aware of how do other people experience me. And not everyone has the same tools to experience me and so so I've had to Learn how to how do I show up? And so we have the secret to secret boop button. Boop, boop. So if you ever it's like it's like the staples. This is that was easy. You know, if if ever I'm like talking too much, someone just can say boop, you know, and only a couple of friends know this, you know? It's I don't want to get emails from people be like boop. Stephen. Comments, there's like 150,000 comments and yeah, and but you know, creating guardrails, and we all need guardrails in our own life of how do we stay focused? How do we stay on a path? And for me, you know, that's conversationally, making sure, like, oh, eye contact, I'm making sure I'm making eye contact. Oh, I'm hearing you say words back to me every so often, if I don't hear you say something, every two or three sentences, I better pause and say, Oh, what do you think? Even just asking people what they think, Oh, what do you think about that? That's, that's a way that I make sure that they're connected. You know, so you're like, you're like, tell me, is it your strength? Is it your weakness? And I share? And then I'm like, yeah, that's, that's, these are some of the things things I do. And then you say, like, oh, that must be awfully hard. Like, I have to, like, listen, and make sure that that you and I are verbally playing ping pong with each other. As just just one example. That's just one of many, many little ways that, that I probably, you know, I'm thinking about things a little bit more than some other people make. Maybe they are to, maybe everyone's thinking about that. I know that I've had to put in a lot of work to show up in public spaces, where people be like, Oh, you don't look autistic? And I'm like, What does?

What does it look like?

What does it look like? There's a look like, Oh, I didn't, I didn't know you're gay. You're like,

like, you mean, you weren't wearing the t shirt?

And, like, Oh, I didn't like It's like saying, like, Oh, you don't look Irish. Like, like, like, like, like, do we like sometimes. And sometimes those labels are helpful. So for me to say, like, oh, yeah, I'm on the autism spectrum. And those things, because imagine if you're a horse, and you think there's something wrong with you, but then come to find out, you're just a zebra. In fact, there's a whole lot of other zebras, but you've been basing, like, you know, who you are based on, you know, like, painted or Arabian horses when really just your silly zebra. And there's a lot of other zebras and I'm probably like the fun striped zebra, you know, the the multicoloured one, but you don't need like there's but like once, so it's not about the labels, it's about understanding, like, who is your tribe, and there's other people just like you so that you can realise that you're special that you're like other people and other people are like you. And it makes the burden of of that. There's some funny things too. Um, one is called beverage goblin. And I didn't realise that so many of our Yes, beverage goblins. So you know, you're a beverage goblin. If you have three drinks on your desk, one for caffeine, one for hydration, and one for fun. And I literally, like there is typically a cup of coffee, there's a cup of coffee, or water and a Coke Zero on my desk at any given moment. So the zeros are fun. Yes, that's the fun drink. And so there's memes about this, there's memes about this and you can join neurodiverse Facebook groups and every so often it's like a recurring me. And I'll send a picture of you know, my desk or whatever. And there'll be, you know, a water bottle and my Starbucks and my soda or whatever. But that's just so there's, there's, there's a unique factor. And there's a fun factor. And there's things there as well. So, so don't hear me that, that, you know, this is a negative diagnosis, or this is a negative thing. And in fact, I actually had a mother come to me that I had met in a programme that I was in with other small agency owners and she said that she had two boys. And one of them was on the spectrum and how much hope it gave her to see me out promoting my own business and being in this group and, and you know, and she's like, how much love I see for onyx, your Husky and that He has for you and how you work together. Like just gives me so much hope for my son. And as he was entering high school, and she and I remained friends. So there's there's a lot of positive things that come out of it. Yeah,

absolutely. as well. Yeah. One of the things that I'm truly inspired as you talk, Steven, is you make statements like there was a lot of work for me to go out and public and do dot dot, right. Like you've had to work hard at understanding people. You've created mechanisms like asking them. So what do you think about that, which is something that I've noticed you do? And you've you've created this system that enables Due to function with different types of people, right, so whether neuro diverse, neurotypical, or whichever sort of people, and I think that's awesome, because what you've done is you've looked at that and gone, this is my worldview, this is how I view the world how I operate. This person over here is not better than me is not worse than me, but they are different. And they think this way, so I need to create some kind of mechanism to to reach with that people that have this worldview over here. And I think one of the things that I would probably say a lot of neurotypical people don't do is they don't do it the other way around. They just let they just kind of go, Okay, well, there's something. There's something I don't know, if they verbalise the statement, there's something wrong with you. But probably that's how they think. And then I don't understand you, therefore, you're in a minority over here. So I'm going to stick with my clique over here. And I think actually, that's, that's something that I think if if people just actually did man that would build a lot of bridges, and a lot of connection with people.

And this concept of neurodiversity, it's a newer term, and I'm trying to its names are failing me. But there was a specific person who came up with this just within the past 20 years or so. And it's a framework to describe the differences in way people's brains work. And it's moving the idea that there's a correct way. And so when you think of it as like a bell curve, like we say, most of the time, it's like, most of the time leaves are green. Some of the time they're, they're brown, red, yellow, or orange, when they're falling off and autumn or fall, if you have that. And other times, they may be variegated, if there's a genetic variation, and, and so like to say that all like, you know, like, we don't go outside and look at trees, and we're like, That tree is not, you know, perfectly straight, it's, you know, maybe caddywhompus. And, and yes, we're not getting into pruning and other things. But we're saying, like, we don't look out at trees and compare them and say, one is better than the other one or one is growing. Or we look at a fat chubby, cute cat, we say, Oh, that's a cute chubby cat, or there's a hairless cat with no teeth. And we're like, oh, look at that silly cat. You know, so to say that there's one typical way people are, is is is trying to think, is not constructive. Actually, to say that there's one way in first to think that way. And so what this does is it gives in the same thing with being differentially enabled, you know, we say disabled? Well, it's not that they're disabled, it's just, they're differently enabled you, you know, whether that's mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, you know, like, if I'm, you know, either being born are from an accident, you know, my appendages of my body are changed or different than yours, just means I'm equipped with this one that I do have. And it's like, stop focusing on what we don't have shows show us what we do have. And neurodiversity is is a framework for understanding the differences in the way people's brains work. And the idea that there is no correct one and, and you kind of hit it on the head, I think we actually neurotypical and the majority of folks try to do this when in the business sector, with disc and personality assessments and you know, which Disney Princess Are you are, you know, all these other things. Like the we have an idea that were similar, but when different, were similar and distinct, like, we're on do it, but we haven't really followed the the crumb trail, I think parents are really good at this with their own kids are like, Oh, this kid, I can punish. I have to punish by taking away toys. Because I could spank them all day long, and it wouldn't work. So I have to take away toys. But this one, I can just look at them, and they will feel bad and run off and cry. We know like if you have children, you know how your children are wired. And so you know how to nurture them in that same way. And if we looked at people all around us in that same way that we could nurture them. And so I think if we had that awareness walking in ONYX has a little patch on his WSC whereas it says not all to say, you know, disabilities are visible. You know, you know what I'm at the airport, people want to pet him and he's got patches all over. I even wear a hat that says don't pet me. I'm working like we all have the patches. And what's interesting is, is there's there's the there's term called ableism. Ableism is where people they make a judgement. You know, my mother has rheumatoid arthritis. She's had it since I was three. She got it when she was 26. And so she went if she she's She will not use the handicap spot if she doesn't need it. But there's days where she can barely walk or even take a tissue out of a box. And yet, there's the judgments, Oh, you don't look disabled, you don't. And so there's so many there's so many barriers and challenges. When people use kind of object permanence or object reference, they reference outside and what they can see, instead of maybe taking notes that there's differences uniquely and internally that that are there, that if we were more compassionate and empathetic to we could love people and interact with people better.

So powerful. So true. And I, I realised a long time ago, I say, a long time ago, I think I still am still realising the lesson on a lot of ways. My default is to think that I'm normal. And my default is to think whatever normal looks like, but my default is to think that I'm normal. And, and therefore everybody is like me. And, actually, I think the older I get, the more I realise I'm not normal, whatever normal looks like. And two people are definitely not all like me, which is probably a good thing for the human race. You know? That's

like driving. That's like driving during rush hour traffic. Everyone thinks the world revolves around their car. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They want to get home on time. Like, why are you all doing this to be? Yeah, everyone's driving in their car, too. They are just like you. They're all in. But they're driving. They want. Yeah,

I read a great quote, while reading that I heard a great quote, and I actually put it in a talk that I've done. But here's the quote, right? To quote Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi, because a great source of truth. You're gonna find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. And I think it's a really fascinating statement. But yeah, listen, but

do you know a lot will be that within?

I am going to say, you know, the Jedi? No, it was not I think it was like episode one. Possibly. No, it would have been episode two, I think when Anakin was a little bit older.

Okay. For listeners go put it in the comments. Was it Return of the Jedi is Steven right?

Yeah. Right. Are they both wrong?

Right. Do you want to be right, chime in with your comments

Denton? Be Right, right. Let's do the, because I feel like we're going to run out of time because I just I just love chatting with you. Question Box time. Don't Don't Don't Don't and, and I know you'd love my branding. So, I'm going to flip through the cards you're going to I'm going to start where we stopped that question I'm going to ask now. Okay. Describe one piece of art that you really like and why.


gonna pick this one. So, while I love Monet in the impressionistic movement, we're going to say this cat

okay there we go. We can sit down that's it. So why that?

So I love so this is a prank because I'm not afford the actual artists. But I love cats. And I rescue cats in that kind of looks like there's a picture of my cat. And it looks like the album cover of dashboard confessional where he's like, walking on the beach, and his head is down. And he has that same pose. Yeah. And his name was scooter Fitzgerald Vanderbilt, the third, he was a little orange tabby buff, and he passed away from liver failure, kidney failure about 10 years ago, and that picture looked exactly like the picture of him. And so that that's just a sentimental piece of art that I found. So usually, like I love different, all different kinds of art. I was on a podcast the other week, and we're like, oh, you surf? And I'm like, no, that's just Mid Century Modern splashes of colour that matches my bungalow. And they're like, I was going to talk about surfing today. And I was like,

sorry, sorry, sorry. I think I asked you the first time I saw you with a surfboards behind you and no, you must get asked that question a lot.

Twice at least what

is interesting with every time

I'm on every time Yeah, every time on the pole to do less podcasts

The answer is always no, because I do less.

If I could figure out a way, but to play the theme music backwards, then I would have you theme music for your podcast as well.

Yeah, absolutely. This man, I'm aware of time, if people want to reach out to you, if they want to connect with you find out more about what you're doing at Quantum branding, just have a chat with you, because they, you know, want to know more about neurodiversity, or want to look at your art a bit more? What's the best way to do that?

Yeah, so we're gonna give you a link in the show notes. That's going to be my link tree. That's the easiest one, you can click on the link tree and you can obviously Google quantum branding, and find out more about what I do. There. You can also watch my award winning speech on brain science. You can also shoot me an email on there. So that's the link it's e forge slash Stephen Fry, with an AE linktree Stephen Fry. So and there you can also find out about the work I do at Quantum as well as the brand printer programme, which helps purpose driven brand leaders be equipped with the power of brand science to get their own actionable plan in a revolutionary 10 week programme in four day workshop. So those are the main things you can check out the link tree, you can check out brand partner and you can check out quantum branding. Those are the main ways on LinkedIn to if you want to like Hey, be my friend. LinkedIn is kind of like the business see Facebook?

It is yeah, it's always been like that, isn't it? Where we're kind of

business, Facebook, we're recording and then I guess, standard message. Please don't Just please don't send me a message that says I would love to connect like be like, Hey, I have a cat to like, you did horrible. podcast or I want to be a guest on your new you know, push

to do list. You know, pull to do this.

Yeah, so just if you want to join me on Add me on LinkedIn, just just don't make it spammy. Just

don't make it. Please don't make it spammy. No, definitely reach out Steven. Especially if you've got if you need help with branding. Here's the man dude, you definitely want to check out what they're doing at Quantum branding. There's some really great stuff. So we will of course link to Stevens link tree in the shownotes. Like he said, as well as his LinkedIn where you can't spam him. But you can request to be a guest on pool to do this. The new podcast

it's fake. It's fake. If you don't get it, it's a Lana Tory dad humour if you weren't aware that that is my sarcastic explanatory dad humour is my MO. Or I make a joke and then make a dad joke and then explain it.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Do you know why he got so bad in our house, but I had to put up a sign in the kitchen saying Dad jokes told here. So when I'd make a dad joke or a dad statement, I'd end up pointing to the sign just gonna I just to be totally you know, it is it is it is part of the system here. So my wife will just roll her eyes at me. Probably quite rightly so to be fair. But yes. Listen, man. love talking to you. Thanks for coming on the show. Thanks for sharing your story having me? Yeah, no, thank

thank you, audience. Audience. Thank you folks for tuning in. It's what is what is the singular singular version of audience

audience? Or like, audience or Yeah,

I guess all just audience and audience listener. Thank you, Dr. Meisner, maybe already I thank each listener for, you know, if you're listening today, and you've enjoyed this, thanks for joining us. It's been a pleasure. If you weren't listening, there'd be no one to talk to. And so I appreciate that. Thanks. Thanks for having me.

It's been great. Love it. Love it. Well, there we go. Another wrap up conversation with a fantastic chap. Massive round of applause. In fact, I can do this massive round of applause. Stephen for joining us today. Huge thanks also to today's champions sponsor Aurion Media for all you changemakers out there contemplating podcasting as your new vehicle of expression. definitely connect with them at Aurion Now remember, keep pushing to be more don't forget to follow the podcast wherever you get your podcast from. Because we've got some more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them. And in case no one has told you yet today let me be the first You are awesome. Yes, you are created awesome. It's just a burden. You have to bear Stephens got a Barrett? I've got a Barrett you've got to bear it as well. Now Push to be More is I've been waiting for the bell all the podcasts and Push to be More is borderline I've by Aurion Media for transcripts and show notes go to the website push to be A huge kudos to the team that makes this show possible Sadaf Beynon and Tanya Hutsuilak and a shout out to Josh Edmundson for an incredible theme music. So that's it from me. That's it from Steven, thank you so much for joining us. Have an awesome week. I'll catch you on the flip side until then, keep pushing. Bye for now.