Why Heart's Content
Welcome to Heart’s Content. I’m your host, William Combs, bringing you a listening experience devoted to learning about people, and the things that make them tick. You are listening to episode one, “Why Heart’s Content?” This episode is going to be focused on learning more about what this podcast is aiming to be, as well as myself and the ideals slash goals behind Heart’s Content.
Normally at this point in the show I would introduce my guest and have them talk about themselves and introduce them to you, but for this first episode there is no guest it is just me. So, who am I? I am a Texas born and raised boy (bad southern accent), um, that was supposed to be a (sic) attempt at being a Southern Accent but probably failed horribly on it, sorry. Ahah.
Uhm, yeah so I was born and raised in Texas up from good ol’ Amarillo, and currently living in Austin. Graduated college from the University of Texas here in Austin and got a major in Computer Science.
I enjoy spending my free time playing video games, hanging out with friends, pretty much doing any sort of social activity. I do tend to play some solo video games or hang out with Apollo, go on walks… sometimes (guilty-like). But generally if I’m getting to hang out with people that’s where I vibe really.
In fact, I like video games so much that whenever I was trying to figure out what my intro topic would be, I thought I’d pick video games. But then, I thought about it more and I was trying to figure out what exactly I wanted the first vibe to be for the show, what would set the stage for every episode to come after. And it really was the podcast itself and the whole meaning behind it of “people”, which seems like a out of the ordinary kind of topic, but I really truly am passionate about people. And it’s definitely one of those things that I think I’ve made myself feel more weird about it than other people have as far as talking about it. It’s not necessarily something that comes up in conversation like, “How much do you care about people, William?” … “Well, let me tell you, I think people are the bee’s knees.” Uh, I don’t think I would ever actively say that in real life, so there you go. But yeah, it was definitely something that I think I filtered more than anyone around me filtered and it was more so just this idea that nobody would want to hear it, nobody wants to hear me gush over how amazing I think humans are and our ability to do things.
And what is it about people that I’m passionate about? Well, I love the, just the raw potential that we have as humans. Everyone is capable of doing so many things. We have people building cars, and we have people designing buildings, and we have people training animals and winning contests, and it’s so varied and amazing, everything from acting in a Broadway play to putting on and managing a high school production. Those are all different things that take different skill sets and one person can’t do all of it. It requires unique people in those situations to do that. So everyone has these diverse stories, and learning about those and talking to people and finding out what those diverse stories are is really what I want my life to be more about. I want to continually learn and grow from the people I encounter along the way. And beyond that more, people are resilient. People get knocked down and they get back up again as the song states and people are able to go from the worst of the worst, rock-bottom, where their life has no meaning as far as they’re concerned to rising up and overcoming every obstacle that they’ve faced. And making a name for themselves and becoming an amazing figure that can be a role-model for future generations. And, that’s amazing in and of itself. The fact that there’s not a point where you can’t come back from, it’s really just an amazing thing. And listening to people who have come back from those points just blows my mind, and fills my heart with joy. It’s wonderful and I love the fact that people do that. And then, I thought of this one earlier today hanging out at a coffee shop. Happiness. Seeing people happy, and seeing pure joy when people communicate with their friends, and in the future when I’m on this show and people are talking to me about their passions and they’re just full of happiness that they’re sharing these things. Those are the things that really get me going as far as like, loving people.
There’s so many facets and so many different areas that make us human.
Our ability to experience ranges of emotions where we can see things and take them how we want. We can look at a piece of art and feel the emotions and the sadness from it even though it’s just color on a piece of paper. And we can watch a movie, and even though it’s fake and not real, we can feel the emotion and connect with the characters and get angry at the injustices we see on the screen. It’s something that you take for granted sometimes, I know I do and then I have to step back and realize these are just amazing facets of humanity. Seeing them play out like that is just truly amazing for me. I hope that over the course of the podcast it becomes something that you notice more, and it finds its way into your life and you also begin to experience these beautiful moments of seeing human excellence everywhere around you.
So, those are the things I’m passionate about when it comes to people. But why, what got me there. And I think we can start with the superficial, this didn't get me there at all, but I think Fate might have just been set out for me. If you believe in faith. If you don't, you'll see. So, my name William, my first name uh in German the name William comes from the world Vilhelm, and it means "The Resolute Protector". So, Vil means the Will or Desire and then Helm is Helmet or Protector. So it kind of, the "Desire/Resolute Protector" thing. So that's kind of going for me already, and then my middle name Edward, very similar story there. Uh, the Old English Edward comes from the word Ead, not sure on pronunciation there, meaning "Wealth or Fortune" and then Weard meaning "Guard" so it literally means the "Rich Guard". Um, so I was technically born with a "Rich Desire to Protect and Guard Others." I don't know if you actually merge it together that way, but that's the way I do. And then you throw in the last name "Combs" it doesn't really add to that but I am slightly vain about my hair, so maybe I'm a "Rich Protector and Guardian of my... Hair"? Hopefully not, hopefully it means others... But yeah, so that's my name and I was just kinda fated to care.
There's also a ton of elements I latched onto as a child, where they kinda shaped me and formed me and gave me these ideas. I can recall being in Sunday School back in Amarillo when - So I grew up in a very religious home, we did Church every Sunday and I learned a lot from that just about how to be a good person and caring and one of those lessons I can recall was learning about when Jesus told his disciples that he came not to be served but to serve. And, that stuck with me because one tenant of, I don't know if tenant's the right word, but key pillar of Christianity is trying to be Christ-like, follow in his footsteps and be a good person similarly. So the idea that I shouldn't be served here, but I should serve others stuck with me. And I've always took that to heart, and I've always really felt like that's what my role on this planet is. It's to help others and not expect anything in return. I'm not doing it for gain I just want to help others achieve their best selves. That even carries over into Jesus's sacrifice where he basically takes everything upon himself, all of the sins of the world and says they are my sins, you are clean, you have a chance. You have to ask for forgiveness but you have a path, I'm the bridge between you and heaven. So the idea of wanting to be as much like that as possible, being willing to sacrifice myself for the well being of others. I do put others ahead of me a lot, and something I had to deal with growing up was learning how to take care of myself 'cause I've always been very people oriented and that would lead to me draining myself. So over the years I've learned how to take care of myself so I can as best possible help others.
There are other examples of things I saw or experienced growing that kind of led to this, and one of those also happened in a Sunday School. We watched parts of the movie Pay It Forward. If you haven't seen it the premise for the movie is Haley Joel Osment's character, he's in Middle School I think, and he gets a history assignment I think to change the world, to come up with a plan to change the world. So what he comes up with is this idea of paying it forward, where he does three good deeds for three random people and he tells them the only stipulation is you go and do three good deeds for three random people and tell them to do the same. And so over the course of the movie it really takes hold and becomes a national phenomena where people who are in states away from him are experiencing these things and hearing about this. You kind of see it from a reporters point of view who has something happen and then traces it back step by step until he finds the source of this crazy phenomena where people are doing all these good deeds. And, I was thinking about and trying to piece all my thoughts together for this I was imagining the scenes from the movie. I'm not gonna spoil it, it's an old movie but it's definitely one that I think if you haven't seen it you should. And thinking through the specific scenes and moments in the movie it still all this time later, I've seen the movie and I've seen it again and it's been many years, it still made me tear up because of how this middle school kid just wanted to change the world and make it a better place and put his heart into it and achieved something. So there's that, that is definitely something that I really wanted and still want to be. I want to be a force that wants to change the world for the better and has a way to do that. Hopefully that's what this podcast does.Hopefully this podcast has some small impact on making the world a better place.
The final thing I want to talk about that really shaped me, and it's really for one quote from the whole thing, but it's Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts was a video game that came out when I was in Elementary School maybe early Middle School. The whole premise was, it was like the Final Fantasy video game series meets Disney World. So you're playing as this kid Sora who his planet gets swallowed up by darkness and he goes on this journey to save his friends or to find his friends and over the course of that journey discovers that he has to save these different planets from that darkness. Really coming to terms with he is this light that's saving these planets. Towards the end of the game, there's a moment where he comes up with the best quote I think I've ever heard in anything, and it is "The Heart may be weak, and sometimes it may even give in, but I've learned that deep down there's a light that never goes out." And that's really, really stuck with me over the years. Every person I believe has goodness in them, every person has a light within them that allows them to do amazing and wonderful things. And I think the world can hide that and cover that and wear away at it, so that you don't see and you don't think it's there, but I believe and I know that there is goodness in people. There's always this light and it may be so far buried that it doesn't seem like it's there, but there is one. It might not be recoverable easily, it might take work, and it might take somebody's investment but it's there and if I can help anyone even slightly on their journey to finding that light, that is a win in my book.
Beyond those things, I've always just connected with the heroes in shows. They always tend to have some naive point of view, where oh no bad guys don't exist or monsters aren't real, and then they have to face that at some point. I've always found that to be a really interesting journey for characters to go on, to be optimistic and positive and then actually see really terrible acts of violence or things that challenge their belief in the goodness of humanity. And, the best part is when heroes see this and walk away feeling, knowing that even with that there's still good. I know it's super cheesy and cliche, but the whole, "you're wrong, my friends don't make me weak they make me strong." trope is just one of my favorites because I truly believe that that's the way the world works. I think that the stronger the network and the stronger the people and the more friends and love and compassion you have in your live, the better off you are. You might not have the resources to build these life ending weapons that bad guys always tend to have for whatever reason, but you have the network and the people you need to stop that. So, similarly going back to the Kingdom Heart's quote, the bad guy might have hidden your light away and it might be locked behind several doors and you might not have the keys to open it, but having that support network having those friends, while that opens you up to being vulnerable and experiencing hurt and heart break it also opens you up to compassion and love and experiencing all the things that bring that light back out. That's just me... I love that. I'm a super cheesy cliche guy, and I absolutely love the light vs. dark dynamic of things, because light wins and that's just my naive viewpoint of things but I love it.
So all these different things have carried over into me caring about people and putting people first and loving the things that they create and the things that they do and just them being them. So it definitely developed this people first mentality that I feel like I have. It bleeds over into a lot of things that aren't even real life, such as video games. When I play co-op games I really like to play Support roles. Now obviously playing a support role doesn't define someone as a good or bad person or this type of person or that, but for me it's - I like playing the roles that can enable my friends or my teammates to do their things. I don't necessarily need to be the one doing the amazing things, I just need to be there and experiencing it with them and that's good enough for me.
I definitely do still get proud when I make a game-changing play or just like pull off some ridiculous combo as a support, but for me it's not about doing those things it's more so about being in a situation with other people and experiencing things with them. That carries over beyond video games and into real life in that I love shopping in person. I know Amazon's become this huge thing and online shops are great and being able to do things like Favor food or Uber Eats or things like that are great because you don't have to leave the house or you don't have to interact with the people at the stores. One of the things I really like doing is actively going to stores or places like coffee shops and things like that and talking to the people who work there. All throughout college whenever I wanted new video games I had a Gamestop that I always went to and it got to the point that I was on conversation terms with the people who worked there. We didn't ever hang out or anything but I knew them and they knew me and I could talk to them about the games and get their opinions and that was nice. Or, if I need new clothes I love going to stores and talking to the people working there and getting their opinions on things, getting their help with things because there's just that human element that I love interacting with. If there's a chance to learn about them a little bit or make a joke or make them laugh or smile that's everything. Recently, I've found a lot of joy in going to a coffee shop, which I'll namedrop as Summermoon, it's the best coffee shop I've ever been to. One of the great things about that is the people that all work there are all super friendly and I can get my coffee and talk to them and ask them about their day and just kinda make that connection that you don't get otherwise.
So today, I went to go get my coffee and I was talking to the baristas and they brought up one of those personality quizzes, specifically the eneagram test, not sure if I'm pronouncing that right. It's basically a wheel with eight or nine different numbers on it and each one signifies different personality types. I took the test a while back with some co-workers. Disclaimer: I'm going to go through the different personality quizzes, this doesn't actually necessarily say anything about me but it's really interesting how they all line up.
So, for the eneagram test, I got a type two, which is classified as the Helper. Basically what the Helpers whole thing is, self-sacrificing, friendly, generous, people-pleasing. At their best they're supposed to be altruistic with unconditional love.
So that was one of those things where, obviously all of these test are you answer questions about yourself and then it tells what matches up. So based off everything I said these should all line up since I'm the one filling it out, but it's definitely cool to see it spelled out in a way.
So that was one I took this year, there was one I took back in 2010 I think called True Colors. That one gives you a different color based on if you're outgoing or adventures or what not. Mine was blue, and I kinda ran with that for the longest time. I made a YouTube channel and it was "Such A Blue" cause that was my thing from that Summer. So blue people, people who are Blue, I guess, are people who are about other people's needs and repairing broken relationships. And they put other people's need before their own essentially, and are just super caring and loving individuals which also just lines up with everything I said before this.
And then there's another one that's very business focused one. I did it at my last job and then a lot of people have done it at my current job. It's called Strength's Finder. So what it does is the idea behind that one is determine the five areas that are your strengths so that you can cater your work and your goals toward using those to make your job better and the life of everyone around you better and elevate what you are delivering to the company. So my five things came out to be Positivity, Connectedness, Learner, Developer, and Includer. Of those five things, four of them were relationship building focus. The one that wasn't is Learner which is Strategic Thinking. So essentially what that test told me about how to work is, I work as somebody who likes to learn from others, and then help everyone around me be connected and develop. Which is 100% me. Like, obviously all of these things so far have 100% defined me, and then you get things like the extrovert/introvert quizzes. I'm trying to think of the Myers-Briggs test, which may or may not be accurate, people argue both ways. It's one of those things that when I take it I feel like the letters always switch for me. It's a very mood based thing, but the big thing I get from that is I'm not an extrovert and I'm not an introvert, I'm both. I love being with people and I love being in gatherings but I also like more intimate settings where I can talk with people and get to know them without all the hustle and bustle of everyone else.
So all of those personality tests and things really highlight the same thing I was saying before I brought those up, which is that I just have this innate desire to stand up for others and champion their desires and dreams and help out with their goals. Whether that's through Kick-Starters that friends have done or going to shows multiple times or just giving them a shout-out on Twitter when I can. It's really this idea that you can never Champion someone too much, sometimes we think that we can, we think that if we Champion something way too much we'll be viewed as crazy or obsessive but I really do wish that I could consistently give shout-outs to my friends and people who are doing amazing things in the world and look at artists and innovators and tech-people who are developing these new technologies. Just shout them out constantly without coming across as a fan-boy type.
I feel like, if you do it too much, people might start viewing it as insincere and that's definitely not something that I want people to confuse. I definitely do 100% support all these people doing these amazing things, and it's hard to say that without people just thinking you're sucking up or brown nosing or whatever. And that's really the idea behind this podcast. It's a way for me to highlight and showcase different people from different backgrounds with different experiences doing amazing things and having amazing passions and loves. And really championing for them.
A couple of the key things I want people to take away, guests and listeners and myself alike, are that it's ok to embrace your passions and to be passion, like, comfortable talking about them, and then also to start engaging other people with their passions and learning from them instead of shrinking away and being awkward because you don't know what they're talking about and you don't really know how to talk to them about it, so you just leave the conversation or switch the topic away from the thing that they love.
So really driving an idea of, making other people a bigger priority, not necessarily making yourself the last priority but putting other people higher up in the priority ranking than they currently are.
Beyond learning to embrace your passions and engage with others, just increase the light that people have when they do embrace their passions. Have those passions be a brighter thing that they experience and something that they can spread through the world, little bit at a time. So eventually a little bit of light there and little bit of light there, until we're all shining and the world is a brighter and happier place.
The final thing that I really want to be a takeaway for this. I hope for a small increase in the quality of daily life as a result. I hope that if we all can go to work or go to the coffee shop, wherever we are, we can engage in each other and embrace that diversity and that differentness and grow from it really.
With all of that, I want to sign off. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to listen to this. Wherever you are, I hope it made that 30 minutes of your day that much better. I do hope that we can all walk away from this with some newfound vigor to share and embrace our passions with each other and learn how to make this world a better place as a result.
I appreciate you all dearly and even if I don't physically in person know you, I do love you and wish the best for you in your life. And I'll talk with you next time, Cheers!