Clues #21:Interview with Zak Williams | CEO and Co-Founder of Prepare Your Mind (PYM) on holistic mental health and his commitment to a life of service following the death of his father Robin Williams
Here’s the full video interview with Zak. His commitment to service in the mental health industry is a brilliant example of post-traumatic growth following post-traumatic stress. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
About Zak Williams
When Zak Williams lost his father, Robin Williams, to suicide, his mental health struggles went into overdrive. His wife, Olivia June, turned him on to amino acid therapy after successfully regulating her mood with amino acid dietary supplements that her doctor recommended. Zak and Olivia spent the next two years working with food scientists to discover a formula that tasted delicious and worked fast to support feelings of stress and overwhelm. Together, they created PYM (Prepare Your Mind), so you can be proactive and prepare your mind to handle everyday stressors and life events that take a toll on mental health. PYM’s mission is to provide safe, natural and effective mental hygiene products to promote self-care and end the stigma around mental health.
Zak has spent the past two decades focused on driving innovation and growing awareness for early-stage startups at the intersection of consumer experiences and mental health. In addition to that, Zak is an ardent mental health advocate. He is an advisor to Project Healthy Minds and Bring Change to Mind, and a Trustee for United for Global Mental Health.
It’s easy to conflate self-love with selfishness. However, the opposite is true. By becoming the best version of one’s self — and finding a true sense of self-worth — then you can be of better service to others. The key point is to heal oneself first, and by doing so you can be of maximum service to others.
Suffering is the root of happiness. We begin by suffering, then we seek the truth as to why we suffer, which ultimately reveals we are not fully responsible for our suffering. That allows us to feel self-compassion, and live in a way that is compassionate to oneself. That in turn teaches us how to be compassionate towards others, and by living compassionately toward ourselves and others we will experience happiness.
From Zak: “The suffering excavates your being.” The deeper one digs into themselves, the “deeper the well” of goodness that fill that well.
Late-stage capitalism comes with so much comfort that it leaves us numb and distracted. So many of our consumer product and experiences today are predicated on getting you addicted to more consumption. That seems to be the default now, at least in the United States and many other wealthy countries.
The intention behind anything is what converts the object of the intention — either positive or negative.
Human’s are resilient so we can survive a lot. However, we tend to underestimate exponential systems, leaving us exposed to catastrophic risk (e.g. network failure of ecological systems.)
When we are in a state of distress internally, our external world tends to reflect that. This concept is true at the individual and collective level.
The biopsychosocial model is gaining traction in the world of mental health because it adequately captures the integrated nature of mental health across environment, social experiences, biology, and psychology.
Zak on his commitment to service, and the role it plays in his mental health - 0:20
The role of self-worth in healing and how to edit one’s sense of worth - 4:47
Tibetan Buddhism and their perspective on the root of happiness - 8:27
Zak’s approach to “systems thinking”, how he applies that to his wellness, and how he uses it to understand our mental health systems more broadly - 13:39
Fear and negativity in the world and our suffering as a culture -14:53
Zak’s views on human belief systems and how it tends to misunderstand or underestimate exponential systems - 26:14
Zak’s work in the world of mental health with PYM, integrated models of wellness, and various organizations to create systems-level changes - 40:35
Insurance companies and the role of data collection in mental health - 51:27
Upcoming trends and areas of innovation in the mental health industry - 55:23
Integrative care and the intersection between body metabolism and mental health - 1:02:20
Psychedelic research and the potential for psychedelics in healing - 1:13:22
Rapid fire questions for Zak - 1:19:39
How to Find Zak Williams and His Work
PYM (Prepare Your Mind): https://youcanpym.com/ Support feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm with their all-natural, safe, and super-effective Mood Chews.