Where the Road Bends

#007: Andy Johns - Healing from Childhood Trauma and Silicon Valley

Episode Summary

I had the pleasure of connecting with Andy Johns, a recovering tech executive, founder of Clues.life, and a passionate mental health advocate. In this engaging and thought-provoking conversation, we delve into Andy's healing journey and a number of crucial topics. Specifically, we explore the profound impact of childhood trauma on mental health and self-identity and emphasize the critical role that therapy plays in addressing harmful identity structures. Furthermore, we highlight the transformative power of authentic self-expression and underscore the importance of creating space for play and experimentation as an essential component of the emotional healing process. Finally, we discuss the role of community and acts of service in the recovery journey, offering valuable insights and perspectives on these topics. I'm excited for you to my wisdom-filled conversation with Andy Johns.

Episode Notes

APRIL 22  • 1 hour 10 minutes 23 seconds

WTRB Episode #007: Andy Johns: Healing from Childhood Trauma and Silicon Valley

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The seventh guest on WTRB is Andy Johns, a recovering tech executive, founder of Clues.life, a prolific writer, and a passionate mental health advocate. After several health scares pushed him to finally confront deep psychological pain that stemmed from childhood trauma, Andy discovered a new approach to understanding his sense of self, life purpose and holistic well-being. This resulted in a career transformation that led him to leave Silicon Valley and embark on the mission to “help others heal from emotional pain, transform themselves, and discover their life purpose. 

Andy now aims to make Clues.life "the most useful mental health library on the internet." It aggregates and curates humanity's most important knowledge and wisdom regarding the human mind and human condition. Motivated by his own personal healing journey, Andy’s goal is to assist others by reducing stigma surrounding the subject of mental health, and demystify topics in an arena that many may have previously found unapproachable.

Before his transformation, Andy was a Silicon Valley startup veteran, holding executive, product, and growth positions at unicorns like Wealthfront, Quora, Twitter, and Facebook. He was also an early investor in unicorns such as Robinhood, Webflow, Reforge, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Homebrew Ventures.

In this episode, we delve into topics such as:

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Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Simplecast.

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Where to find Steve Schlafman:

• Website: https://www.schlaf.co/  

• Twitter:  @Schlaf

• Facebook: Steve Schlafman

• LinkedIn: Steve Schlafman

Where to find information on Andy Johns:

• Website: Clues.Life

• Substack: Andy Johns


Time Stamps:

(00:00) Andy Johns Soundbite

(00:51) Podcast Welcome

(01:20) Introducing Andy Johns

(02:11) Old Andy vs. New Andy

(04:08) Parallels Between People

(05:01) A Traumatic Childhood

(07:33) Absorbing The Emotional Pain of Parents

(09:01) A Painful Catalyst to Transformation at Age 27

(12:42) How He Continued to Achieve In The Industry During His Crisis

(15:02) The Physical Toll of Enduring Crisis

(17:40) Finally Leaving Silicon Valley, Embarking on a “Coddiwomple”

(21:17) Analyzing Identity Structures Resulting from Childhood Trauma

(26:22) Rewriting Identity and Rebuilding Sense of Self

(26:54) Writing As Part of Healing

(28:31) Recognizing Synchronicities Around Mental Health and Wellness

(29:57) The First Substack Publication: A Truth Bomb

(30:40) The Freedom That Comes With Confronting Fear and Being Authentic

(32:46) Honesty and Loving Support in Groups of Recovering Addicts

(33:38) The Universality of Difficulty and Trauma

(34:27) Social Effects of Liberated Authentic Expression

(36:04) Acts of Service Playing A Role in Rebuilding Sense of Self

(37:10) The Importance of Space, Play and Experimentation For Emotional Healing

(46:04) How To Know If You Are Pushing Too Hard Past Your Range of Tolerance

(52:03) The Effect of Societal Laws on Forming Identity

(54:33) Self-Assessment: “Am I A Man?”

(56:41) “The Real Adulthood”

(58:17) Creating Clues.life To Share Wisdom With Others

(64:55) The Human Being is a Creative Dreamer

(68:51) Podcast Outro

Stay curious and keep exploring the winding road of life.

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