🥊 The 3 Stages of Ambition + Noor Tagouri

Presented by Podcast Movement

Presented by Podcast Movement

Ideas lie everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of wayfairing strangers with an eye and a tongue for beauty, whether absurd, horrific, or genteel.

🥊 The 3 Stages of Ambition

1: Blue Sky: Before executing an idea, anything is possible. In this stage, our ambition is unencumbered, free to roam the forest, sniff out delicacies, and forage as it pleases.

2: Reality Check: Here, the reality of deadlines, budget restraints, access, and other obligations create boundaries. We must realign our ambition and use obstacles as opportunities. We mustn’t lower our ambition; we simply chart a new course within our constraints—and shoulder-check self-imposed barriers with impunity.

3: Ongoing: This is our level of ambition after a project has launched and the journey is far from the starting line. Our ongoing ambition becomes our baseline for what we expect of ourselves, how big we’re willing to dream, and what challenges we’re willing to take on. 

A heightened baseline level of ambition takes care. Should we leave our ambition to fend for itself, our personal potential (and the joy of creating) succumbs to the inevitability of rot. By tending to our ambition like a garden—with love and attention, practice and discipline—we’ll be primed to find a better way forward.

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🎙️ Signal Flow: Noor Tagouri

Industry game changers and valiant minds from creative professions share their wisdom, adversities, and paths to innovation.

Noor Tagouri, journalist, activist, and motivational speaker

Noor’s groundbreaking 2018 documentary, Sold In America, delved deep into the complexities of the US Sex Trade, earning her a prestigious Gracies Award for Best Investigative Series. In 2022, Noor and AYS launched the investigative series REP: A Story About the Stories We Tell. The series explores the concepts of representation and objectivity in media, and received a 2023 Webby nomination for Best Limited Series. Through At Your Service, Noor has produced stories for partners like Prada, Google, Dell, NIVEA, and more. Noor has touched the stages of TEDx, SXSW, Harvard University, Cannes Lions, and hundreds of universities around the world, sharing her insights and driving meaningful conversations.

I don't trust when people say they don't need mentors. Having mentors expands your world and taps into a level of humility by saying, “I don't know. But I want to know.” 

There’s no way I would be where I am today without my mentors. 0% chance. I gave a TED talk ten years ago and I hadn’t watched it. Then I did a podcast interview with my former journalism professor last week, and he played the first 30 seconds for me and I started crying. And yesterday, I finally watched the whole thing. I name-dropped four or five of my mentors. And I was just like, I'm so proud of that version of myself who did that because my mentors have been the hands carrying me through this journey.

It's never been more accessible to have mentorship or guidance, and sometimes you don't even need to know the person. Sometimes you can just like follow them online. There are so many people on TikTok and Instagram and on YouTube who are literally giving away wisdom and knowledge if we’re willing to listen.

Audio has a very special place in my heart. I worked in radio for a long time. Creating the theater of the mind was something I’ve always loved, it's something you can escape into.

Audio presents the opportunity to get to the intimacy of an interview without the pressure of a camera being there. I interviewed my great uncle, my mom, and my dad on very challenging subject matter. They were able to get to that place because they forgot they were being recorded. If there was a camera, especially with my family specifically, it would have been a lot harder to get those stories.

Even if you don’t have a grand idea at the moment, just record conversations you're having with family, especially with elders. It's a way of documenting family history, of connecting and expanding our consciousness.

I think people say things on podcasts they wouldn't say on other mediums because it feels like a safer platform. I don't know if that's maybe just in our heads, but that's the feeling it gives off. 

I interviewed four generations of Japanese Americans, including a group of ten elders who had been in internment camps in the U.S. as children. It was so wild to interview them and hear their children say, “You never told me that happened.” I think a lot of times with fathers and sons, there's tension. It was very clear that had one of the sons asked those questions to his dad, he wouldn't have gotten the same answers as me asking those questions as a journalist who's validating the story in a very different way.

Revolutionary representation is actively engaging with how you evolve as a person and represent yourself as a person every single day with the recognition that you're changing every day. Someone's going to read this article tomorrow or next week or next month, and maybe there's something in that article I would have changed my mind about by then, because I will have changed. 

We need to know our history so we can investigate and interrogate our past selves and our past stories and our past beliefs, so we can continuously be present and mindful and aware of who we are now.

🥾 Further Exploration

As a general rule, I keep my podcast projects separate from the newsletter. But today I’m feeling like a rule breaker, so let’s do this.

Coast into dreamland with my new sleep podcast, in collaboration with WHRO Public Media. Each 30-minute episode of The Dream Conductor lulls you to dreamland with whimsical, historical stories of beloved classical composers…set against their coziest classical melodies.


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Until next time, have a bold week.

- Doug

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