The Science of Success
Being Busy vs. Creating Results - What Are You Doing? with Jake Knapp

Being Busy vs. Creating Results - What Are You Doing? with Jake Knapp

May 10, 2018
In this episode we discuss what happens when you mistake being busy with creating results, we take a hard look at time management and examine concrete strategies for carving out more time, we look at the dangerous power of “defaults” in shaping our behavior and how we can use them to our advantage, and examine how to have a healthy relationship with our inbox with our guest Jake Knapp. 
Jake is the New York Times bestselling author of Sprint. He spent ten years at Google and Google Ventures, where he created the Design Sprint process and ran it over 150 times with companies like Nest, Slack, 23andMe, and Flatiron Health. Previously, Jake helped build products like Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Encarta, and his work has been featured in Tech Crunch, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.
  • Jake’s own battle and journey with time, time management, and figuring out how to make the most of his time, effort, and energy to create more results 
  • Lessons from a “time dork” who has spent time in the trenches thinking about how to best spend your time
  • We spend a lot of our time in the world of “defaults” - with our technology platforms
  • The “busy bandwagon” - the cultural norm of wanting to be and appear that you’re busy
  • Deleting instagram, facebook, twitter and more from his phone helped Jake be more present 
  • What happens when you mistake being busy with creating results
  • If you're caught up in the minutiae of life - what can you do to step back and get clarity on priorities and what’s really important in your life?
  • There’s no secret solution for everyone - it’s about trying strategies to see what works for you - and constantly engaging in contemplative analysis of what’s important 
  • A “burner list” strategy you can use to organize your todo list 
  • We’re not super human and we don’t want to be - many of us wouldn’t be happy with the life of Elon Musk
  • Every time the todo-list gets, full, stale, etc - reconsider what’s number one - and just focus on that 
  • Think about the space between a TASK and a GOAL - clear 60-90 minutes to really dive in and create results on your most important item on your ToDo list
  • You don’t need to be busier to create the results you want - its about taking control of what you’re doing
  • “Someday” goals can become realities if you prioritize correctly and break them into executable chunks 
  • If you’re not taking steps toward your goals, they effectively don’t exist
  • The importance of creating a meaningful connection to your goals - to create motivation in the near term
  • You have the ability to “recover time” in your day by spending less time in a reactive state
  • As one of the early pioneers of email, spending his time help building gmail app and much more - Jake has some strong insights into how we can have a healthy relationship with our inboxes 
  • Defaults are tremendously powerful in shaping our behavior - think about what defaults you have in your technology life - and how you may be able to tweak them to be create more of the results that you want 
  • The difficulty of saying no - and how we can do a better job of it
  • How to say no like a sour-patch kid
  • Get out saying yes/no to commitments in person, defer and come back later when you’ve had time to think about it
  • Saying yes to something is a great way to kill your own priorities. They are like barnacles on the hull of your ship
  • Trying to construct situations where a team can make really good decisions using the Design Sprint process 
  • Lessons from constructing environments to help people make better decisions
  • The design sprint process and how it helps teams work together and make great decisions
    • Making sure that you’re considering opinionated / conflicting solutions to, and creating an environment where it’s healthy to have disagreement 
    • Anonymous disagreement on paper
  • Homework - Lightning Decision Jam 
  • Homework - What is your distraction kryptonite?
Profound Insights In Brain Science Revealed During A Stroke? with Dr. Jill Taylor

Profound Insights In Brain Science Revealed During A Stroke? with Dr. Jill Taylor

May 3, 2018
In this episode, we explore the brain. Are the two halves of the brain really that different? What is the idea of whole brain thinking? How do you get your brain to do what you want it to do? Can we become more “right brained” or “left brained” if we want to? And we also dig into the personal story of our guest - a neuroanatomist who suffered from a devastating stroke - and how the experience transformed her worldview - with our guest Dr. Jill Taylor. 
Dr. Jill Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist. She is the bestselling author of her memoir My Stroke Of Insight which recounts her experience and recovery after a severe stroke, which left her unable to walk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Here iconic TED talk has been viewed over 22 million times and her work has been featured all over the globe from Oprah to the New York Times and more.
  • Are the two halves of the brain really completely disconnected?
  • The right hemisphere and the left hemisphere process the world completely differently 
  • Whole brain thinking - how to think about yourself and the world in a holistic way by integrating both hemispheres into your thinking process 
  • The different hemispheres have different value structures and ways of perceiving the world 
  • Every ability we have is a result of brain cells that perform that function - if those cells go away, we lose that function
  • The more you practice/use a group of cells in the brain, the more automatically those cellular networks run - that’s true for an athlete training, and it's also true for how we think and act in the world 
  • Whatever cells we exercise become dominant, and those begin to shape our thinking and action
  • Is it true that people can be more left brained or right brained?
  • How you can engage processing in the hemisphere that you are less dominant in
  • How do you get your brain to do you want it to do?
    • Self-awareness is a KEY component and the first step 
    • Get an understanding of how much time you’re spending with each brain hemisphere being dominant
    • Do your brain hemisphere’s get along?
  • Each of your own cognitive minds (left and right hemisphere) have their own emotional limbic systems
  • What should someone do if they don’t feel like they have the power or don’t understand how to CHOOSE which hemisphere to engage?
  • Look at your own patterning and begin understanding how you react to given situations
  • How do shape your reactions to negative emotional experiences
  • The importance of observing your emotions instead of engaging in them - the simple fact that you’re alive and capable of having an experience of the negative experience is a powerful thing 
  • Why is not the question its the WOW
  • We all get caught up in the oh my gosh, I'm so important - when really we are just stardust
  • The incredible story of how Dr. Taylor’s own stroke was a profound experience
  • The experience of being one with everything that came from Dr. Taylor’s stroke
  • Mindfulness research shows that certain thought patterns can transform and change our brain circuitry 
  • Is the idea that we are separate from everything else a controlled illusion maintained by the brain?
  • The profound lessons that come from having your entire left hemisphere shut down
  • What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change our brain?
  • Neuroplasticity is a fundamental property of the neurological system
  • Homework “pay attention to what’s inside of your head"
The Mysteries of Consciousness Explained & Explored with Neuroscientist Dr. Anil Seth

The Mysteries of Consciousness Explained & Explored with Neuroscientist Dr. Anil Seth

April 26, 2018
In this episode, we go deep into a scientific look at consciousness. We ask, how do our brains experience reality? What is consciousness? Is our perception of reality nothing more than a “controlled hallucination?” What is the “hard problem of consciousness” and what are the major aspects of consciousness? How can we use the neuroscience of consciousness to better ourselves and improve our lives? And much more with our guest Anil Seth. 
Anil Seth is the professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex. He is the co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, the editor in chief of Neuroscience of Consciousness, and was the President of the British Science Association for psychology in 2017. His TED talk has been viewed over 2.5 million times and his work featured in The Guardian, the BBC, New Scientist, and more!
  • How does our brain experience reality?
  • Consciousness is a funny thing - we don’t have a good definition of it, but everyone knows what consciousness is 
  • There is a subjective experience of consciousness for being human 
  • For much of the 20th century, much of psychology and neuroscience ignored the phenomenon of consciousness
  • Consciousness is dependent on the brain
  • The questions of consciousness are some of the most important and urgent questions we can ask
  • What is the “hard problem of consciousness?” and why is it so important?
  • What are the problems of consciousness?
    • The easy problem is figuring out how brains do what they do, how they implement functions, guide behavior, allow the world to be sensed, how the brain works as a mechanism - this will keep neuroscientists and biologists busy for a long time
    • The hard problem is explaining how and why any of this should have anything to do with conscious experience and why conscious experiences happen
  • However detailed your understanding of the brain is - it will leave untouched the question of how/why consciousness exists in the first place 
  • We don’t need to solve the hard problem to pursue a very productive study of consciousness
  • How our biological understanding of life parallels our understanding of consciousness 
  • The three major aspects of consciousness (they inter-related and not necessarily independent)
    • Conscious level - a scale from being completely lacking in consciousness (a coma, dead) all the way to being fully awake and fully conscious
    • Conscious content - when you’re conscious you’re conscious OF something
    • The experience of being a particular person
  • We don’t passively perceive the world, we actively generate it 
  • When we perceive things, our brain is taking energy waves and electrical signals and interpreting them into prior predictions and expectations
  • We aren’t conscious of our passive predictions, we’re only conscious of the results of them
  • It seems to us that the world is out there, as we perceive it
  • You will only see things that you believe 
  • Optical illusions really demonstrate how adapted our visual system is
  • Perception is a controlled hallucination
  • How the perceptual limitations of the brain are mirrored in the social media echo chamber where your prior beliefs are confirmed
  • Informed skepticism is an incredibly valuable thinking framework - the scientific method and a healthy dose of humility help us move towards truth
  • The way the brain perceives the world can be looked at as a form of hypothesis testing
  • The same perceptual illusions and idea of controlled hallucination doesn't just apply to the external world - but applies to OURSELVES as well 
  • The Rubber Hand Illusion - and how our perceptions of our bodies are not what we think they are
  • Even something as basic as what is and what is not our body is at best a guess, a hypothesis generated by the brain 
  • The origin and the structure of your world and yourself
  • What happens when you have an out of body experience?
  • How understanding the science of the self can impact the way you experience life and your own emotional states
  • The way you feel at times is the brains best guess, it's not necessarily the way things are and the way they have to be
  • How Anil’s own battle with negative emotions and negative emotional states has been shaped by the work he does in neuroscience
  • What interventions have helped Anil battle his own depression?
    • Going for a long walk in the country
    • Exercise
    • Fresh Air
    • Nature
    • When you’re in the thick of it - you forget these interventions work, but they DO work
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps Anil as well
  • You aren’t defined by your own suffering - does having the Flu define you as a person? Why should a psychological issue?
  • Homework - reflect on your experience and try to understand that its a construction of your brain
Using Science to Create the Perfect Day with Caroline Webb

Using Science to Create the Perfect Day with Caroline Webb

April 19, 2018
In this episode, we look at how to use insights from behavioral science to improve your life. We look at what it means to have a “good day” and figure out how to reverse engineer more good days, by examining decision making, the power of rest and recovery, intention setting, setting boundaries, and much more with our guest Caroline Webb. 
Caroline Webb is CEO of Sevenshift, a firm that uses insights from behavioral science to improve their client’s working lives. She was previously a partner at McKinsey consulting and is the best selling author of How To Have A Good Day, which has been published in 16 languages in more than 60 countries. Her work has been featured in Inc., Forbes, Fortune, and much more.
  • What does it mean to have a good day? What does that have to do with the science of improving your life?
  • What is a bad day? what is a good day?
  • 3 Core things about having a good day
    • Working on your priorities
    • Feeling that you’re producing great work
    • Can it be repeated?
  • What is the science behind what actually allows people and organizations to change?
  • The two system brain - there are two systems that interact in the brain, as Kahneman called them System 1 and System 2. 
    • “System 2” - the slow system, our conscious experience, deliberate thinking mind, but it moves slowly and can only process information slowly and clunkily 
    • “System 1” - the automatic system - our subconscious mind, immense processing power, but it often takes shortcuts 
  • How do we create the conditions for our deliberate system to be as successful as possible?
  • Breaks are not for wimps, breaks are crucial opportunities to reboot your deliberate system and improve your thinking and decision-making
  • Frequent, short breaks enormously enhance your mental ability 
  • Short cardio activity will boost your focus and mood materially
  • When we are resting, we encode and consolidate information - and often create new insight
  • When you “single task” you work about 30% faster than someone who is multi-tasking - every time your attention switches, there is a cost in time and processing power
  • Why saying "ABCDEFG 1234567” is so much easier than saying "A1, B2, C3, D4, E5, F6, G7”
  • What’s the most important thing you’re doing today and how can you get yourself to single task on that?
  • Willpower is not the way to create big changes in your life, it's about changing your environment
  • Switching your phone to monochrome to help make it less attractive 
  • Nudges vs Sludges - how to shift your environment to create behavioral change
  • The currency of our lives is attention
  • Your brain is constantly filtering out a huge amount of information - and whatever is top of mind for you filter your reality
  • The hard science of setting your intentions - set what attitude you want to have, what your aim is, what your assumptions are, etc - setting intentions can have a material impact on your behavior
  • Defensive mode vs discovery mode - and what happens when we get put into a “fight or flight” response
  • The best strategies for rapidly getting out of the defensive mode.
  • Distancing - put yourself at some distance from the situation. Tells the brain that the threat is further away.
    • “What will I think about this when I look back in a year’s time?”
    • “What would I tell a friend if they were in this situation?”
    • ‘What would my wisest friend/mentor say in this situation?”
  • Labeling - label how you are feeling. By labeling the emotion you are experiencing you tell the brain that “the threat has been acknowledged”
  • Re-appraisal - a powerful technique that has longer lasting effects - trains you to think flexibly about alternative explanations. 
    • What are the facts of what’s happened?
    • What am I assuming?
    • What would be an alternative explanation?
  • This isn’t “The Secret” - there is a lot of science around how you can be more productive and effective
  • The importance of being proactive vs being reactive 
  • How do you set boundaries without ruining your relationships? How do you say no in an elegant and graceful way?
  • “The Positive No” - the scientific way to say no, politely
    • Don’t start with “sorry”
    • Start with something that keeps the other person out of discovery mode - appreciate them in some way “I really appreciate you inviting me”, etc 
    • Then go into what you’re saying YES to “I’ve got an exciting project on my plate that I need to complete by the end of XYZ that will have a huge impact”
    • As a result, I’m having to make some tough choices about how I spend my time, and I can’t come to the meeting, I’m sorry
    • End with warmth and wish them well
Effortlessly Remember Anything – Lessons From A Grandmaster of Memory with Kevin Horsley

Effortlessly Remember Anything – Lessons From A Grandmaster of Memory with Kevin Horsley

April 12, 2018
In this episode we learn the memory tactics and strategies of an International Grandmaster of Memory, we look at why there is no such thing as a bad memory or a good memory - only bad memory strategies and good memory strategies, in real time we build a memory palace that you can use to memorize and effortlessly recall the ten emotions of power, go deep into the system for organizing and remembering huge chunks of information and much more with our guest Kevin Horsley. 
Kevin Horsley is an International Grandmaster of Memory, and was one of the first five people in the world to obtain this title. Kevin is also the World Record Holder for the matrix memorization of 10,000 digits of Pi. He is also the bestselling author of several books on memory and his work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Times, Forbes, Inc. and many more.
  • How Kevin went from severe dyslexia, almost being diagnosed with brain damage, to becoming a world record holder in memory 
  • Lessons from studying people with superhuman abilities / superhuman memories
  • You can never be more than your definition of yourself, you have to question your labels as they aren’t often the absolute truth
  • There is no such thing as a good memory or a bad memory - there are only good memory strategies or bad memory strategies
  • Auditory memory is always sequential - improving your spacial/visual memory allows you to move seamlessly through information 
  • The best way to get your brain engaged is to imagine content and connect it to something you know 
  • There are 3 keys to developing a super memory
    • A place
    • A unique image
    • Glue them together
    • “PUG” 
      • Place (long-term memory)
      • Unique Image
      • Glue
  • We build a memory palace on your body to memorize the 10 emotions of power from Tony Robbins
  • Illogical images stick in your mind
  • Long-term memory + short-term memory = medium-term memory
  • Journeys are an incredible tool for building memories - routes, journeys, travel 
  • Using google maps and tourist attractions to remember anything by exploring and planting memories anywhere on earth
  •  There’s no real limit to what you can do with your mind - the only real limit is time 
  • “The more you know, the easier it is to know more”
  • We have a phenomenal brain and aren’t using all of its potential 
  • Do you need to know something for Just in Time or Just In Case?
  • The power and importance of periodic review to encode information for the long-term
  • Just in case information - using a system of Evernote + Todoist to store and review information
  • Book strategy: 
  • Get the book - first do an overview of the book, look at the table of contents, make predictions what is the book about, what do you know about (active knowledge networks), once he’s overviewed the book, he does a preview of the book - what specifically do you want to know from this book?
  • Lay the book contents out on a memory journey with the key principles ideas - what is the key content - put it on a journey 
    • Put a little note - you put a specific information
  • These memory methods are really simple but they're not easy
  • You need to work on these ideas and get the key fundamentals - it’s like driving. You have to train yourself and improve and grow. 
  • Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. 
  • Kevin spends 1 hour a day on new content, 1 hour a day on review. Discipline is a key to this
  • Memory is not just about learning content and stuffing it into your brain - you have to know the content and be able to control it, shape it, and creatively wield it to create the results you want. 
  • How do you avoid overcrowded memory places?
    • Just in case information are placed into KEY SPECIFIC PHYSICAL LOCATIONS —> that’s the only place that content will ever reside
    • Just in time - do specific shorter journeys that can reset and be cleaned more often, allocate to specific days of the week, then they have aw eek to clear out - do places that you go more frequently and visit often because they naturally et cleaned 
  • The key to accelerated learning is getting SUPER organized. You have to have places for specific content, you have to store content and take the time to organize and map out your journeys. 
  • You cant change your destination overnight, but you can always change your direction. 
  • It gets easier and easier. 
  • Success is neither magical nor mysterious, a natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. 
  • Glue - make it over the top, energize it, exaggerate it, use your senses, make it as memorable as possible
  • When you forget an image it will encode even better 
Your Ultimate Guide to Performing Under Pressure and Unleashing Confidence - Dr. Michael Gervais is BACK

Your Ultimate Guide to Performing Under Pressure and Unleashing Confidence - Dr. Michael Gervais is BACK

April 5, 2018
In this episode we go deep into the high performance habits of the worlds top performers, look at the only place confidence truly comes from, dig into why we struggle to perform when the pressure is on, examine the habits, routines, and strategies the world’s absolute best use to perform at their peak, and much more with our guest Dr. Michael Gervais. 
Dr. Michael Gervais is a high performance psychologist who has worked with some of the world’s top performers including the Seattle Seahawks, Felix Baumgartner (The Red Bull Athlete Who Completed the Stratosphere Jump) Olympians, musicians, and champions! His work has been featured on ESPN, CNN, The New York Times, and much more!
  • We love to put some of the world’s top performers on a pedestal - but there are extraordinary things that take place every day that aren’t capture on the cameras 
  • Are extraordinary performers born that way? No.
  • Why do we struggle to perform “when the lights are on”/ “when there is pressure”
  • Top performers have fundamentally organized their lives around growth and improvement
  • What does it mean to have your life organized around performance and growth?
  • There are only 3 things we can train
    • We can train our body
    • We can train our craft
    • We can train our minds
  • The origins of sport are built on the ancient traditions of war 
  • When we look at the best in the world across domains - they are more similar to each other than dissimilar 
    • Relentless dedication to building and refining their craft
    • Relentless dedication to building the right body / carriage 
    • Ability to adapt and be strong from a mental perspective
  • Provide opportunities to stress the system (mind & body) and to recover the system 
  • Feedback loops are both internal and external 
  • The importance of having consequences - both natural/physical consequences and man made consequences
  • Lessons from working with coach Pete Carroll from the Seattle Seahawks 
  • Ask yourself: Who in your life helps you be better and what are the characteristics of those people?
  • The most significant accelerant to someone’s success is knowing that you have their back
  • Internal feedback loops
    • How am I doing? How does it feel? Am I executing at the right level?
    • What is going on in my body?
    • Being aware of the energy, tension in your body, your thoughts, etc 
  • Once you become aware of maladaptive mental strategies - then you develop the tools to adjust
    • First awareness,
    • Then skill
  • External feedback loops - having people in your life who can help you get better
  • At any given time we can have our attention focused internally or externally - but we can’t spend too much time focused on the internal
  • In training - the external feedback loops and human feedback becomes tricky - and that’s why Dr. Gervais has a deep commitment to maintaining and building healthy relationships
  • To do extraordinary things in life - NOBODY does it alone. We need other people. You have to invest in the true connection with other people. 
  • The greatest wayfinders, when they set sail, they don’t pray for calm waters, they pray for rugged seas, moving through the rugged seas is what forges strength - that is where you get made, that is where you find your true nature
  • The brain’s job is to scan the world and see what’s dangerous - but you can’t let the brain have too much control
  • Your brain is underserved, underutilized, under-programmed 
  • If you don’t train the software of your brain - the brain’s natural reaction will win. 
  • You have to condition your mind so that your brain doesn’t win. So that your natural fight or flight reaction doesn’t take over. 
  • YOLO.. FOMO… now FOPO - Fear of Other People’s Opinion - one of the most silent traps that robs us and keeps us stuck 
  • What should we do if we get caught up in the internal dialogue too often? What should we do if we get stuck in our head too often?
  • Start training your mind, just like you would train your body. Start training in simple, calm environments, and then push yourself into more and more stressful environments 
  • Optimism is at the core of mental toughness. Optimism is a skill, you’re not born with it, you have to TRAIN it. 
  • Just like everything - genetics are involved, environment is involved, training is involved. 
  • This is about conditioning your mind to be extraordinary on the razors edge
  • 5 Functions Under Stress
    • Fight
    • Flight
    • Freeze
    • Submission
    • Flow
  • In western culture, our self worth is tied to our achievements and results. The idea that we need to do more to be more is broken. It’s wrong.
  • The notion that you need to do more to be more is exhausting - it’s time to flip the model. 
  • We need to BE MORE to DO MORE, let our DOING flow form our BEING
    • Present
    • Rounded
    • Authentic
  • Our value in inherent and not contingent on what we do. The intellectual idea is not enough, we have to ACT ON IT. 
  • The acquisition of knowledge is not enough, you have to APPLY to knowledge.
  • When you have a deep trust that you can do difficult things, and you don’t need the doing to define you, you have incredible freedom. 
  • The most powerful people in the world are those that have nothing to lose.
  • Those that have NOTHING TO PROVE are incredibly powerful. 
  • I know how to be me, express me in any environment, and I'm not intimidated by what you think.
  • Love deeply and know yourself and love others. 
  • When you don’t need to defend and protect yourself, when you can BE yourself, there is an incredible freedom in that. 
  • There are no tricks, there no tips - just the hard work. 
  • Can you be yourself in highly stressful, rugged, hostile, razor’s edge environments. 
  • When you get exposed for what you’re not good at, that’s when the GOOD FEEDBACK LOOPS OPEN UP - and you need to get into those environments more often. 
  • What are the environments and conditions where you struggle? 
  • Training confidence is extremely mechanical. Confidence only comes from one place - it’s not past success, its not preparation - confidence ONLY COMES FROM what you SAY TO YOURSELF. 
  • Write down what your internal dialogue sounds like - write those thoughts down, self doubt, self criticism, excessive worry - those thoughts don’t open up space, they constrict you. 
  • Write down what it sounds like to be in your head when you’re on point - when it’s good to be you, what do you say to yourself?
  • Externalizing your thoughts is a key step in building confidence. 
  • Practice good thoughts, and put yourself in environments to test them. 
  • “If you’re gonna throw darts, know where the bullseye is” - the bullseye in this case is what thoughts work for you
  • Thoughts lead to thought patterns, thought patterns lead to habits of mind. We want to build positive habits of mind. 
  • Feelings only happen if you reverse engineering them through thinking and thinking patterns. 
  • Insights from Felix Baumgartern’s Stratosphere Jump
  • Thoughts lead to emotions, and emotions + thoughts impact performance
  • It’s sloppy to show up and just think you will be OK, show up in presence
  • Training the mind is not EXTRA - it’s something we need to invest in on a regular basis. If you train your craft to a ridiculous level, but you don’t train your mind, as soon as pressure enters the environment, you will will be exposed
  • To have a strong mind, you have to TRAIN YOUR MIND FOR STRENGTH
  • Mindfulness is intimately linked to confidence 
  • Mindfulness is a focus training to focus on the awareness - that awareness training is the beginning step of being aware of our thoughts and thought patterns. If we can become aware and more sensitive to our thoughts and thought patterns, we can course correct and built a more optimal internal state. 
  • “Choking” - where does that term come form? What does it mean to choke?
  • Performing under pressure is good, but it’s not dissolving pressure - that’s a different thing.
  • If you think there’s pressure you’re right. 
  • Is it possible to change your relationship with yourself and your environment in such a way that pressure is dissolved. You have to do the hard work to figure out your unique psychological framework from your parents, peers, pop culture, and more. 
  • Do you think buddha had pressure? No he dissolved it. What about Jesus? The purpose was so much larger, and their internal framework was so sturdy that they dissolved pressure. Flow state / the zone is essentially the dissolving of pressure. Using the challenge of the environment to create a deep focus.
  • Focus on the task at hand, not focus on the clunkiness
  • We dig into the daily architecture of a world class performer and what that looks like 
  • “You would be surprised by how much we focus on recovery” within the framework of a world class performer’s daily architecture
  • Day in and day out is an internal competition with yourself
  • Mindfulness/meditation is a “massive accelerate” to mastering your internal domain
  • Homework - take a good hard look at your sleep patterns
Blindspots, Bias, Billionaires and Bridgewater with Dr. Adam Grant

Blindspots, Bias, Billionaires and Bridgewater with Dr. Adam Grant

March 29, 2018
In this episode we discuss the relationship between bad ideas and creative genius, the three biggest lessons from studying the most successful hedge fund on earth, why a complete stranger may often be a better judge of your abilities than you are, the key things that stand in the way of developing more self awareness and how you can fix them, why it’s so important to invest in the ability to make better decisions, and much more with our guest Dr. Adam Grant. 
Dr. Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for six straight years and has been named a Fortune’s 40 under 40, as well as one of the world’s 10 most influential management speakers. He is the multi bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals and Option B which have been translated into over 35 languages. His work has been featured on Oprah, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and he is the host of the new TED Podcast, WorkLife...
  • You don’t know yourself as well as you think you do
  • There are two things that stand in the way of self awareness 
    • We have blindspots that other can see, that we can’t
    • Biases - the things we don’t want to see
  • We are better judges of our internal state, but much worse at judging our external behaviors than our friends and colleagues
  • We are motivated to have a positive image of ourself
  • A complete stranger is a better judge of your assertiveness, creativity, and intelligence after 8 minutes than you are of yourself (after your entire life!)
  • We all want to think of ourselves as being smart and creative
    • “Male pattern blindness”
  • Any time a trait is easy for others to see and hard for us to see - we are bad at judging it
  • Human blindspots are predictable and most people have the same kinds of blindspots
  • At Bridgewater they tape video + audio of every single meeting
  • Bridgewater was a fascinating place to study deep self awareness
    • No one has the right to hold a critical view without speaking up about it
  • Peer support in the workplace is vital
  • When we get criticized, we make the mistake of going to people to support and cheer us up - we need a “challenge network” to challenge our assumptions, push us, and see through our BS
  • When things are going poorly, people usually ignore the naysayers and dissenters, but the more you do that the worse things typically get - you should be doing the opposite
  • How do we avoid shooting the messenger when we receive negative feedback?
  • Any time you are about to receive negative feedback, get some praise / positive feedback in a positive domain to buffer your negative emotional response first
  • Why “feedback sandwiches” (praise, criticism, praise) doesn’t work as well as people think they do
  • If you’re praising, praise in a separate realm
  • “Democracy is a dumb idea for running a company” - some people’s decisions are objectively better than other people’s
  • The power of domain specific believability scores and how that’s shaped Bridgewater’s results in a positive way
  • Not all feedback is equal 
  • Go around and look at your feedback sources and ask yourself two questions
    • What’s their track record in the skill you’re asking for feedback on?
    • How well do they know YOU?
  • The three biggest lessons Adam learned from studying Bridgewater
    • Turn the idea of Devil’s advocate upside down
      • Someone arguing for a minority view often turns the group against that view
      • Don’t assign a devil’s advocate, unearth a genuine devil’s advocate - it helps groups make better decisions
      • Authentic devil’s advocates create authentic divergent thinking
    • You must speak up when you have a dissenting opinion and encourage people to speak up when they have a dissenting opinion
      • Say to people “one of things I really value is when people disagree with me or when someone respectfully and thoughtfully challenges my beliefs"
    • Ask people to “opt-in” to wanting feedback - you have to be willing to ask for it and opt-in to it
  • Why would a billionaire spend hours arguing about the placement of a white board?
  • Personality is really bad at predicting one specific behavior, but it’s great a predicting aggregate behavior
  • The marshmallow test, personality, and delayed gratification
  • Situations repeat themselves over and over again - tiny decisions about things like a whiteboard cascade through all decision-making processes
  • We look at each moment of our life as if thru a microscope, what we should do is look at them through a telescope and see how everything is a microcosm of something larger, similar to personality
  • By investing in improving your decisionmaking skills you accrue more and more interest on that over time
  • The mental model of positive EV thinking - looking at aggregate outcomes and not specific instances
  • The best model for psychology is meteorology and how that ties into Charlie Munger - power of thinking across academic discipline and building mental models from a wide array of academic disciplines 
  • Lessons form Shakespeare, Edison, and Picasso to understand what makes them different from their contemporaries 
  • The more BAD IDEAS you have, the more creative you are
  • We are too close to our own ideas to judge them accurately
  • One of the biggest predictors of creative results is raw output and being prolific
  • Your first idea is rarely your best idea
  • Research shows these conclusions across a huge array of domains - business, music, art, innovation tournaments, and more - the more ideas you create, the more valuable ideas you create
  • You don't max out on quality and originality until you have about 200 ideas on the table 
  • How can we improve our creative forecasting skills?
  • Managers often have skewed incentives to reject new and creative ideas
  • What has worked in the past is at best irrelevant, or worst may be negatively correlated with success
  • If you can’t trust yourself and you can’t trust your boss who can you go to? Creative peers are the answer. 
  • Fun fact - clowns are universally hated. 
  • You can open your bosses mind by having them spend 5 minutes brainstorming for themselves, that will prime them to be more creative and less evaluative/judging
  • Your most promising idea is often the one you typically rank second, not first
  • Start with evaluating your challenge network - think about the people who’ve given you the best critical feedback in your life, who are those people, and how can you benefit from their criticism?
    • Example - send an article to your challenge network before publishing it
    • Create a system to repeatedly engage them 
The Scientific Search for The Self - Discovering Who You Truly Are with Dr. Robert Levine

The Scientific Search for The Self - Discovering Who You Truly Are with Dr. Robert Levine

March 22, 2018
In this episode we approach the concept of the self from a concrete perspective, not in an abstract philosophical way. What do the hard sciences like biology and physics say about the existence of the self? Does the “self” exist from a psychological perspective? What does the science say and what does that mean for ourselves, our future, and how we think about change and self improvement? We explore the scientific search for the self with Dr. Robert Levine. 
Dr. Robert Levine is a professor of psychology and former dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University. Robert is the bestselling author of Geography of Time, Stranger in the Mirror, and The Power of Persuasion, which has been translated into eight languages. His work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, CNN, and more!
  • Is our current conception of “the self” accurate?
  • The hard sciences demonstrate that there is not one, single, conception of the self
  • The boundaries that we imagine divide us from the rest of the world are vague, porous, and sometimes non existent
  • The self is a changeable object and we have control over changing it
  • When does the self become the non-self?
  • A huge portion of our body is bacteria - does that constitute part of the self?
  • From a psychological perspective, we do not have a single personality or self
  • Who are you? 
  • Approaching the concept of the self in a real way, not in an abstract philosophical way
  • What do virtual body parts have to do with the perception of the self?
  • What are the consequences of the lack of a concrete, definitive, self?
  • Your mind can be tricked, despite knowing that it’s being tricked
  • Context and situation often determine your behavior moreso than your personality / self
  • The interconnectedness of everything / are we actually separated from the universe / what is the “boundary” of the self?
  • Where do our thoughts, decisions, and ideas come from?
  • The notion from early psycho-neurology that your brain decides before we are aware that we have decided
  • The self versus the non-self
  • Where do our thoughts, desires, and impulses come from? 
  • The boundary between ourselves and others is vague & malleable
  • How do we use the fluidity of the self to reshape and edit ourselves?
  • We are multiple personalities and selves - and this allows for and creates real possibilities for change
  • What are the implications of this fluidity of the self?
  • We can actualize the possibilities within our multiple and complex understanding of self-hood to create positive change in our lives
  • We are the “editors” of our own lives and “selves”
  • Creating positive change in your life requires thinking for self, introspection, and self honesty
  • The lowest hanging fruit for keeping track of your “self” and editing to become the person you want to be
How You Can Hack Your Creativity, Productivity, and Mood Using Your Environment with Benjamin Hardy

How You Can Hack Your Creativity, Productivity, and Mood Using Your Environment with Benjamin Hardy

March 15, 2018
In this episode we discuss how your environment plays a tremendous role in shaping who you are, look at how personality develops and what underscores it, talk about how to engineering your own environment to make yourself more productive and effective, examine at how to battle self sabotage and much more with our guest Benjamin Hardy. 
Benjamin is a PhD candidate at Clemson University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is currently the #1 Writer for with over 50 million page views recorded. He is the author of the upcoming book Willpower Doesn’t Work and his research and writing has been featured in Psychology Today, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and more!
  • Success is about growth, never plateauing
  • Always be a student, always be growing
  • Living according to a value system that you believe in / a cause you believe in / serving people who you love
  • The difference between security and freedom. Many people base their security in something external to themselves. 
  • Develop your own worldview / beliefs / values / goals to help form a more independent
  • Transformational learning experiences” helps transform your world view and perception of yourself
  • Stretch your mind, push your body - to start to open up your world view
  • If you do not create and control your environment, your environment controls you 
  • The western belief that we exist independent of our context, what psychological research shows is that your environment has a tremendous impact. Your environment shapes who you are.
  • Mindfulness is awareness of your surrounding and how those surroundings influence you
  • You can also shape your environment, and this creates the possibility for radical change
  • Who you are is influenced and shaped by your environment
  • Epigenetics shows that your environment has a huge impact on your personality
  • Most people are unintentional in shaping their environment
  • Personality is more of an adaptation to situations and unresolved trauma 
  • The false belief of western culture is that we think personality is a fixed trait - science shows that it’s not
  • Suppressed trauma can “freeze” your personality 
  • Memories are social and contextual - they are shaped by your experiences 
  • “You are a sick as your secrets” - the things you keep isolated are the things that keep your personality frozen, your personality changes and continues to grow, you are stuck as a child in some aspects of your personality 
  • Will Durant - most people believe that history was shaped by heroes, “It’s not heroes that shape history, its demanding situations that create heroes - the average person could have double their ability or more if the situation demanded it of them”
  • The Pygmalion effect
  • How to “up the stakes” of your environment to create external situation to force you into the behaviors you want to create 
  • The two kinds of “enriched environments” you need in order to maximize your performance
  • Only 16% of creative ideas happen when you’re at your desk (when the mind is in a rested state)
  • The concept of “psychological detachment” - letting go of work for a few days - really helps you fully engage when you come back to it
  • The vital importance of recovery as a key component of being both happier and more productive
  • How do you stop from self sabotaging? Put yourself in situations where its a self fulfilling prophecy. Create the environmental components necessary for you to succeed and thrive. 
  • Creating “forcing functions” in your life to make yourself achieve the goals and results you want to create
  • Creating appointments with yourself so you can have creative time
  • Who you are right now is NOT what who you need to be to achieve the “big goals” you have set for yourself - otherwise you would have already achieved them and they wouldn’t be big goals
  • “Pressure can bust a pipe or it can make a diamond”
  • “Self signaling” concept from psychology - who you think you are is not a very stable perspective. You don’t really know yourself very well. 
  • Its not your personality that creates your behavior, its your behavior that creates your personality. 
  • Your behavior can reshape your personality. 
  • “The unconscious will only allow you to have what you believe you deserve.” Dr. David Hawkins
  • How do you make yourself believe you can do/be more?
    • Invest in yourself, spend money on coaching etc towards what you desire. This upgrades your internal sense of what you can be, do, and have.
  • Creative output - “quantity is the path to quality” / “it’s better to be prolific than perfect"
  • What Got You Here Won't Get You There - You have to change your strategy. You can’t be tied to just what worked in the past. 
  • Your environment is the world outside of you - unless you make changes out there, you will never make any permanent changes inside your head - you can only spend so much time visioning, setting goals, etc - you have to start changing the external environment to make big changes 
  • Start by examining your environment - examine whats around you and what’s being created around you. 
Four Questions That Will Change Your World - An Exploration of “The Work” with Byron Katie

Four Questions That Will Change Your World - An Exploration of “The Work” with Byron Katie

March 8, 2018

In this episode, we take a journey into the inquiry know as “The Work’ and uncover the 4 question framework that you can use to break down negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. We examine what happens when we argue with reality, look at the difference between being right and being free, explore the causes of suffering, and much more with our guest Byron Katie. 

Byron Katie is an American speaker, author, and founder of the method of self-inquiry known as “The Work”. She has worked with millions of individuals at both private and public events in prisons, hospitals, treatment centers, universities, and schools. She is the author of three bestselling books and her work has been featured in TIME, The Huffington Post, Oprah, and much more!

  • What happens when you don’t accept reality?
  • Do you like it when you scrape your knee?
  • How should you deal with negative experience?
  • Missing the miracle of life by arguing with it
  • What happens when we get caught up in having to be right?
  • Why it’s painful to “believe your own thoughts” and why you should question your own thinking
  • The Four Questions of “The Work” that can allow you to challenge your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs
  • Using the “Four Questions” to meditate on and reflect on challenges in your life
  • How to become a better listener, listening is powerful
  • When you argue with someone else, you miss valuable information and become disconnected with that person
  • We are often looking outside for the answers to our questions - we should instead look inside
  • The only way to change the world is to question what you believe about the world?
  • How to be open and fearless
  • What you think that causes your suffering - it's only what you’re thinking and believing that causes your suffering
  • Test it for yourself
  • What we think and believe create our identities
  • What you THINK causes your suffering - it's not the external world. The events of the
  • People don’t need to change - what you think and believe about them could use some work
  • Be aware of your life right here, right now - the value and the gift of life and how to take care of it.
  • The Four Questions of the Work and how you can apply each of them
    • Is it true?
    • Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
    • Who am I when I believe this to be true?
    • Who would I be without this thought?
  • Turnaround
    • You can never change others but you can always change yourself
The Secret That Silicon Valley Giants Don’t Want You To Know with Dr. Adam Alter

The Secret That Silicon Valley Giants Don’t Want You To Know with Dr. Adam Alter

March 1, 2018
In this episode we discuss the danger of getting addicted to your screens. We look at how technology is designed to be as addictive as possible, and how those addictions specifically make you spend more time on things like social media and news that make you less happy. We discuss how screens rob us of time and attention and why it’s so hard to break away from them. We also look at how-how you can structure your environment to spend more time away from your phone and create ways to get out of these addictive behavior loops with our guest Dr. Adam Alter. 
Dr. Adam Alter is an Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, with an affiliated appointment in the New York University Psychology Department. His research focuses on judgment, decision making, and social psychology. He is the bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink, and Irresistible, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, WIRED, and much more!
  • Technology programs like Facebook are not designed to make you happy - they're designed to be as addictive as possible and consume you
  • Steve Jobs didn't let his children use iPads
  • Why technology giants in Silicon Valley often don’t let their children use technology (and why that’s important for you)
  • The four negative affects of being addicted to your screens
    • Your psychological wellbeing
      • Your threshold for boredom declines dramatically
        • Bordem is good, it creates creative and divergent thinking
    • Negatively impacts your social wellbeing
      • Lowers your emotional intelligence and your ability to read the emotions of others
    • Negatively impacts you financially
      • In app purchases
    • Negatively impacts you in a physical way
      • Too much time in front of screens
  • Screens rob you of time and attention
  • The Drug of Choice Today is the PHONE
  • There’s a huge rise in behavioral addictions today
  • Social media and news make you LESS HAPPY when you use them - leaving you hollow and unfulfilled
  • People spend 3x time on average on apps that make them unhappy 
  • Is Adam a luddite for hating on smartphones?
  • AR and VR will make it even more difficult to break away from technology addiction
  • Apps today are built like slot machines - they are intentionally designed to hook you and not let you go
  • The same strategies used to keep people gambling are used in apps and technology to keep you addicted
  • Humans don’t like open loops - goals help close them 
  • “Email is a lot like zombies” - you can kill them all and they just keep coming
  • The abscence of stopping queues makes technology keep you addicted
  • How can we mindfully create stopping queues in our own lives?
  • You must become the architect of your own environment to control your own stopping queues
  • How to break your phone addiciton?
    • Set alarms to get off technology
    • Make your phone as physically far away from you as possible
  • You can engineer experiences that encourage positive outcomes, just like you can engineer negative outcomes
  • Games can treat pain - playing a game during a physically painful experience takes your pain away
  • Actively introduce a rule that physically distances you form your device - that’s the best way to do it 
  • It’s not easy or desirable to live in a tech free universe
  • Propinquity - the things that are close to your physical space have the biggest impact on your psychological experience
  • The story of “Drunk Tank Pink” and how subtle changes in your environment can create huge changes in your behavior
  • Homework - create as much distance as possible between yourself and your phone every single day
How You Can Become A Superconnector with Scott Gerber

How You Can Become A Superconnector with Scott Gerber

February 22, 2018
In this episode we discuss how to become a “superconnector." We look at the idea that networking is not about tactics, it’s about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people. We examine how to break free from the lazy and shallow networking that social media often creates, discuss why you should never ask “how can I help?”, look at the power of curiosity and asking better questions and much more with our guest Scott Gerber. 
Scott Gerber is CEO of The Community Company and founder of Young Entrepeneur’s Council. He is also an internationally syndicated columnist, the co-author of Superconnector and the author of Never Get a “Real” Job. Scott has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg and has even been honored by White House.
  • How do we cut through the quagmire of endless linked-in connections, twitter followers and more?
  • Self awareness is one of the key attributes of super connectors
  • Rather than being authentic, we are being internet authentic - social media conscious 
  • We have to reverse course away from the lazy networking of social media
  • Providing real signal, being human, allowing your humanity to show through - amplify your humanity
  • We have conflated the idea of connection with being connected
  • We live under the illusion that vanity metrics determine social status
  • Step one is the cultivation of emotional intelligence
  • Focus on being of service to others
  • Networking is not about tactics, its about a fundamental shift in how you think about interacting with people
  • One of the key principles to networking is that you have to be a real, authentic human
  • What kind of service / value do you want to bring to a community of peers?
  • Failure is often a result of not building your relationships and communities
  • Come from a true place of wanting to help others first
  • Don’t be a “networker":
    • A taker
    • Out for yourself
    • Wolf in sheeps clothing
  • We don’t live in a tactics world - we’ve created one
  • Get back down to the basics - guru nonsense, marketing hucksters etc are full of it
  • A connector thinks about - what questions / context do I need to ask that this person is not giving me, so that I can figure out how to play a role to help them in succeeding in life or business - where I can be helpful?
  • Focus on actually being helpful instead of just asking “how can I help you?”
  • Why asking “How Can I Help” is the Worst Question
    • You put the onus on the other person to tell a stranger how they can help
    • Directionally it provides no guidance
    • It shows you don’t care - because if you actually wanted to help, you would be curious, keep asking questions, to come up with a thesis and then say “here are some ways I CAN help, proactively”
    • Offer actual assistance, not the platitude that you can help
    • It’s the new social script - but it has no meaning or value
  • You MUST ask better questions. The best connectors are curious. 
  • Most people like to talk about how obvious things are, but they never actually implement it. 
  • Great question - “what does success look like for you?” “what are the steps you need to take to get there”
  • How to cultivate curiosity and ask better questions
    • Start with auditing your conversations
    • Be curious about the other person
    • Figure out questions that you want to ask people
  • Most introverts are better connectors in many cases
  • Listen!! Sometimes shutting up is the best thing you can do as a connector
  • Should you go to networking events? Before you do, you need to “select your pond” more effectively
  • Great questions to figure out context for how to talk to people
    • What are challenges your facing right now in your business / life?
    • What’s a major strength or major win you’ve had recently?
  • Put yourself into a space where you're comfortable is a key component of effective networking
  • A lot of content today is “thought leadership garbage” - metric driven traffic with a goal in mind
  • You can’t force a personal brand - if you suck at creating content or your content is “networker-esq” - you have to figure out if you’re a creator of content or a curator
  • Place yourself at the center - building walled-off access to the people and things that matter will eventually be the “keys to the kingdom”
  • Those who are able to curate the right people together, to create thriving communities beyond just the founder are going to be the most powerful from a social capital, profitabilabilty, etc level 
  • Technology is meant to amplify humanity and not cheat it
  • Create a safe space, creative collective value not just 1 on 1 value
Brain Scans Reveal The Powerful Memory Techniques of Memory Champions, Greek Philosophers, and SuperLearners with Jonathan Levi

Brain Scans Reveal The Powerful Memory Techniques of Memory Champions, Greek Philosophers, and SuperLearners with Jonathan Levi

February 15, 2018
In this episode we discuss becoming a SuperLearner. We dig into questions that I’ve pondered for a long time - does speed reading work? Can we actually speed read and increase our reading comprehension? Are there strategies you can use to improve your memory? And perhaps most importantly - how can we align the way we think, learn, and remember with the way our brains actually operate? We go into this and more with our guest Jonathan Levi.
Jonathan Levi is an author, learning expert, and founder of Super Human Enterprises. He is the author of the book Become a SuperLearner and has helped over 120,000 students improve their learning methodology through his online courses. He has been featured on the TED Stage and his work has been published in Inc. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
  • How Jonathan went from a “troubled student” to a learning and memory expert
  • Memory strategies from greek philosophers to current day experts - what actually works?
  • What to do if speed reading doesn’t work?
  • You average college graduate reads about 250 wpm, at Jonathan’s peak he was reading 750-800 wpm with 80-90% comprehension
  • Its vital to distinguish between rote memorization and how the memory actually works
  • Most people have no concept of how powerful and effective memory techniques actually are
  • By doing memory work you can change the physical structure and neurochemistry of your brain
  • "Paleo Learning” - Get back to what actually works, from an evolutionary standpoint, with learning strategies
  • Using our brains in the way they are intended to use - aligning our learning with our evolutionary design - creates an huge impact on your learning 
  • The framework of 40 day study with 30 minute sessions per day
  • Strategic memory techniques you can use to improve your memory
  • What FMRI scans reveal about the brains of world memory champions 
  • How these two specific memory techniques could more improve your memory by 135%
  • Short amount of training can impact your brain in a big way
  • Pygmalion effect and the golem effect - people typically conform to the expectations of teachers and leaders 
    • The same thing happens with your ego and your perception of yourself
    • Even if these techniques don’t work for you, they still work for you
    • Your ego’s incentive is always trying to prove you right
  • Lessons from both the hard and soft sciences on how you can improve your memory
  • Our brains are built in clusters / neural networks
  • There are more neurons in your brain than stars in the known universe
  • The human brain is the most complex object known to man
  • The 3 primary strategies for improving your memory
    • Strongest memory effect are SMELL and TASTE - very deeply rooted in your brain
    • Second most effective memory sense is sight - the "Picture superiority effect”
    • Next most powerful is location-based memory
  • Visual memory and location based memory are deeply ingrained in your brain and the keys to unlocking super learning
  • Can you remember what was on your mom’s nightstand when you were a child?
  • Connecting all of your knowledge to preexisting knowledge
  • “Hebb's Law” - Neurons that fire together, wire together
  • Our brains thrive on novelty and newness - our brains are amazing at recognizing patterns and connections
  • Always think of novel and creative imagery to remember things
  • Learning how to use the memory palace technique 
  • Create strange / novel / unique visualizations 
  • Imagining that I get stabbed!?
  • Create a visualization you already have and then connect them - even if they don’t make sense
  • Memory palaces can get jumbled, but they are free, and you will effectively never run out of places / physical spaces
    • You need a different memory palace for each thing you want to plant in there
    • What if you get it wrong?
    • Doesn’t matter as long as its wrong consistently
    • You can use the levels of your favorite video games
    • You can use fictional places / structures - as long as they are the same 
  • Create artificial logic and connections - 
  • Memory palace - go along the outside walls of the room - go clockwise or counter clockwise - up to you
  • LeVeShel - to cook, in Hebrew 
  • What are visual markers and how can you use them to memorize literally anything?
  • How has Jonathan been able to improve retention with speed reading?
  • How does speed reading work and is it actually a hoax?
  • How you can read at 600-800 words per minute and actually increase your retention and comprehension
  • Crash course in speed reading in 30 seconds
    • Minimize back-skipping
    • Minimize Subvocalization
      • You can only listen at 300-400 wpm
  • Jonathan rejects the notion of being an auditory learner -you may get even more out of visual learning strategies 
  • Spaced repetition is a key component of boosting retention
    • Review
    • Pre-reading chapters
Why Your Brain Struggles To Understand Money with Jeff Kreisler

Why Your Brain Struggles To Understand Money with Jeff Kreisler

February 8, 2018
In this episode we discuss how money messes with your brain. We look into the obvious traps we fall into when we think about money, examine how cultural influences shape our financial choices, and explore the key biases that underpin the most common and dangerous financial mistakes that you are most likely to make with our guest Jeff Kreisler.
Jeff Kreisler is a bestselling author and the winner of the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy. He is most recently the co-author of the new book Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How To Spend Smarter with Dan Ariely. (who we have previously had on the show as well?) Jeff is a regular contributor for CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and more!
  • Get rich cheating??? What’s that all about?
  • The common tropes within the self help industry (and how many of them are not based in evidence)
  • The power of satire to explore the underpinnings of human behavior
  • What is money?
  • Why do we have such a hard time thinking about money?
  • Awareness of your biases is a huge difference maker (even if you do nothing other than just being aware of your biases)
  • Spending is very obvious in our culture, but saving is not
  • Research shows men are more willing to admit they take viagra, than how much money they've saved in their 401ks
  • We dig deep into several of the mental biases that stop you from understanding money
  • The relativity bias and how that impacts spending habits
  • ‘What do you want for dinner” vs “would you rather have chicken or fish for dinner”
  • One of the most obvious traps that we fall into with money
  • “The Pain of Paying” Bias and how it impacts what we think about money
  • “The credit card premium” and how using a credit card makes you pay more
  • Anchoring bias and arbitrary coherence. 
  • How your social security number could impact how much you pay for a bottle of wine
  • We often obsess about small financial decisions, but make judgements on a whim with large financial decisions like buying a home or car
  • Self control is really hard
  • “Ulysseses contracts," reward substitution and how to create self control
  • How self awareness is the cornerstone of making better financial decisions
  • The locksmith example and how we misunderstand value and fairness
The Evidence Based Habits You Need To Build an Unstoppable Brain with Dr. Mike Dow

The Evidence Based Habits You Need To Build an Unstoppable Brain with Dr. Mike Dow

February 1, 2018
In this episode we discuss how to build a rockstar brain. We get into the neurochemical compositions that create moods from happiness to depression and look at you can change the building blocks of the neurochemicals by changing your diet and your habits. In a world were people are more stressed than ever, sleeping less, and trying to do more - we look at the causes of “brain drain” and what we can do to have physically happier and more productive brains with Dr. Michael Dow. 
Dr. Michael Dow is a psychotherapist, neurotherapist, and a New York Times Bestselling author. He has been the host of several television series examining relationships, brain health, addiction, and mental illness. Dr. Mike is frequently a guest cohost on The Doctors and his work has been featured in Today, Good Morning America, Nightline, and more.
  • Your brain is being drained every day by stress, life, etc 
  • The 3 subtypes of brain drain
    • Adrenaline
    • Norepinephrine
    • Cortisol
  • What happens, neurologically, when you suffer from “brain drain” or brain fog
  • What are we doing in our daily lives to cause brain drain?
  • The brain balancing neurochemicals that are the antidotes to stress hormones
  • Through everyday lifestyle changes you can transform your neurochemicals 
  • EPA and DHA Omega 3 Acids - and why they are important co-factors in building a healthy brain
  • People are feeling more stressed than ever, working more, sleeping less
  • How are we causing “brain drain” with our daily habits and activities?
  • The 24 hour relationship between cortisol and melatonin
  • Throughout the day, your melatonin level rises and your cortisol level decreases
  • What we do every single day has a far more profound effect on our neurochemicals than we even realize
  • Lifestyle interventions you can implement to rebalance and change your neurochemicals
  • Stay away from foods that boost your glycemic index
  • Sugar and flour drain and shrink the hippocampus - which is the main site of neurogenesis
  • Eat more spinach, quiona, bananas 
  • How do we cultivate GABA?
    • Glutamine from spinach
    • Vitamin B6 in bananas, magnesium and zinc
  • Eat seven servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day
  • “Probiotics are the new prozac”
  • Are vitamins and supplements are useful tool or should we get all our nutrients from whole foods?
  • The importance of getting Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
    • EPA = Feel Better Omega 3 (stress less Omega 3)
    • DHA = Sleep soundly Omega 3 (promotes restful sleep)
    • EPA and DHA compete for space in your cells
  • Vegan and vegetarian options for Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA)
  • Omega 3s are one of the best foods you can eat for your brain - they are the building blocks of yo
  • You can build a “rockstar brain” with a modified mediterranean diet
    • Lean protein
    • Nuts
    • Olive Oil
    • Fish
    • Lots of fruits and vegetables
  • How soybean oil & Omega 6 fats cause brain inflammation 
  • The modified mediterranean diet has been shown via research to combat major depressive disorder
  • "You are what you eat, ate"
  • Common sources of omega 6 fats - soybean oil and factory farmed meat products - most intense source of omega 6 fats which cause brain inflammation
  • Strategies for shifting the brain from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic
    • Progressive muscle relaxation
    • Autogenic training
    • Self hypnosis
    • Mindfulness meditation
    • Mantra based meditation
  • Fit people release 40% less cortisol than those who are out of shape
  • The right exercise at the right time is essential to balancing your neurochemicals, for example Interval training is great long term for weight loss, but spikes cortisol levels in the short term
“The Most Innovative Experimental Psychologist In The World Today” on Luck, Deception, and Success -  Dr. Richard Wiseman

“The Most Innovative Experimental Psychologist In The World Today” on Luck, Deception, and Success - Dr. Richard Wiseman

January 25, 2018
In this episode we explore luck. Does luck exist? Is there a science of luck? What does the research reveal about lucky people and unlucky people? Is it possible to manufacture your own luck? We speak with research psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman and learn the truth about luck and how you just might able to create a bit more in your own life.
Dr. Richard Wiseman has been described by The Scientific American as “The most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today” and his books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Richard started his career as a working magician and now holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology. His work has been featured across the globe and he has delivered keynotes to The Royal Society, The Swiss Economic Forum, Google, and more.
  • How Richard went from being a performance magician to being deeply interested in human psychology
  • How studying "the psychology of deception” taught Dr. Wiseman to subtly influence human perception and behavior
  • Most people think they are good lie detectors, but they are in fact not - they are no better than chance
  • When you focus on reading only a transcript - average people go up to 60-70% effectiveness in detecting lies
  • People prefer to lie with the spoken word rather than with written word
  • Ask people “can you email that to me” to catch them in a lie
  • Does luck exist?
  • What research reveals the difference between lucky and unlucky people
  • For the most part, people are CREATING THEIR OWN LUCK by the way they are thinking and acting
  • The research supports, with enormous consistency, that you can create luck
  • The differences between lucky and unlucky people
  • The “newspaper experiment” and how it demonstrates the difference between being lucky and unlucky 
  • How your “attentional spotlight” filters your perception and reality - causing you to miss basic opportunities - this is what the “unlucky” often do to themselves
  • Then, Dr. Wiseman taught subjects in experiments to “think like a lucky person” and these simple exercises caused the “unlucky” to be more lucky
  • Keep a “luck diary” - the most positive thing / positive thought that happens in a day - will rapidly reorient you towards being more “lucky”
  • The lucky tended to be more intuitive, risk seeking, and resilient
  • Generating “negative counterfactuals” and “finding the silver lining” can help you generate more luck
  • You are creating your own good and bad luck by what you are thinking and feeling
  • What happens if you don’t think you can train your mind to be more positive?
  • Try these “luck producing strategies” for 1 month and you will be luckier in your life
  • How people get stuck in an identity of being “unlucky” can sometimes trap you in a certain behavior pattern
  • Creating and cultivating flexibility in your life - taking a different route to work, changing your conversational style - enables you to capture luck in your life
  • Lucky people are “team players” and constantly look for win-wins - trying to help other people become successful and engaging and talking with other people constantly 
  • Buying lottery tickets all day by exploring opportunities and relationships in an open way is how you can “create luck” in your life
  • The biggest myths of self help - and what evidence actually says about them
  • The danger of visualization - and why it doesn’t actually work - in fact “visualization is a terrible idea”
  • Visualizing endpoint threatens your motivation and ability to actually achieve those results, visualizing process is much more effective 
  • Brainstorming reduces creativity by 20% in a group setting for 2 reasons
    • Social Loafing
    • Group gets dominated by people who may or may not be the most creative 
  • The far more effective brainstorming strategy is to brainstorm on your own - then everyone shows up to a meeting with their own perspective
  • The Harvard Motivational Study is a “complete work of fiction” - it’s never been conducted
  • Asking for evidence is essential - don’t believe something because it sounds plausible and it’s easy
  • The power of writing your own eulogy and how it can shed light on your true goals
  • The one technique you can use to shed light on your true intentions and goals for life 
  • Terror management theory - how we respond to the things that scare us
  • Life is short - live the best life possible right now
  • The “As If” Principle
  • You have NO IDEA how you feel until you observe yourself
  • How the “As If” principle can help imapct phobias, anxiety, and depression
  • Ask yourself “how do I behave when I’m happy” - DO ALL THOSE THINGS and you will feel happier
  • The effects happen within 30-40 seconds
  • How do you generate the will power and motivation to act “as if”
  • I’m not nervous “I’m acting as-if I’m excited” - you can use labeling as a tool to act “as-if”
  • The power of the pre-mortem and finding out the risks, downsides, and problems of any project before you get started
The Real Strategies Top Achievers Use To Create Results with Jeff Haden

The Real Strategies Top Achievers Use To Create Results with Jeff Haden

January 18, 2018
In this episode we discuss the habits of high achievers, the motivation myth, dig deep into habits, routines, and strategies you can use to achieve more in less time, balancing hustle and hard work vs recovery and much more with our guest Jeff Haden. 
Jeff is a contributing editor for, author, and ghostwriter. Jeff has ghostwritten nearly 40 non-fiction books including four amazon best sellers. He is the author of the upcoming book The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up To Win and his articles for were read by over 20 million people in 2016 alone.
  • How Jeff achieved his dream and realized it wasn't nearly as exciting as he thought it would be
  • Top achievers don't have special sauce - its hard work and hustle that gets them there
  • In interviewing and studying top achievers and the lessons from studying them
  • The power of process and the power of routine
  • Map out and create a blueprint of what you want to do 
  • The power of doing the right things every day without fail 
  • How do we find out what the right things to do are?
  • Find someone who has achieved what you want to do, look at what they did to get there, create a blueprint based off of that and execute it
  • You don't need to reinvent the wheel 
  • The hard part is actually what gets you to where you want to be 
  • Motivation comes from action and progress - not the other way around
  • Your muse comes from action, you get ideas from doing things, you get inspiration from getting out there and getting started
  • 2 quick and easy tricks to be as productive as possible every day
  • A fantastic daily productivity strategy you can implement right away
  • Setting your daily MIT every week to avoid decision fatigue and make high leverage choices every week
  • "I can’t” vs “I don’t” and what research reveals about using one phrase vs the other
  • The benefits of working out in the morning
  • How to generate energy in the afternoon with small rest periods
  • How do you balance hard work and hustle with recovery?
  • High leverage thinking, focusing questions, and avoiding busywork
  • The “breaking a sweat” principle - starting with the smallest thing possible
  • How do you deal with big, far off goals? “the distance between here and there”
  • How Jeff did 100,000 pushups in a year
  • Set big goals, but focus on the routine/process every single day to execute 
  • How talking about your intentions and big goals can actually prevent you from achieving them
  • How Jeff want from being a factory manager to a prolific writer, writing more than 40 books and countless articles
  • Jeff’s daily writing habit and how he developed it
  • Break down into parts, and execute each of those component parts by day
  • The power of being an “and” instead of being hyper focused
Simple Keys To Reading Anyone’s Hidden Emotions with Psychology Legend Dr. Paul Ekman

Simple Keys To Reading Anyone’s Hidden Emotions with Psychology Legend Dr. Paul Ekman

January 11, 2018
In this episode we explore emotions and facial expression in depth with one of the world’s top experts - the psychologist who pioneered much of the work in this field - Dr. Paul Ekman. We discuss the 6-7 major universal emotions, how emotional reactions are unchanged across cultures, ages, and even species, we discuss micro expressions, reading people’s faces, how to manage and control your emotions, and much much more. 
Dr. Paul Ekman is best known for his work as a pioneer researching the field of emotions and how they relate to our facial expressions and as founder of the Paul Ekman Group. These studies along with many others led to Paul being named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine and One of the Most Influential Psychologist of the 20th Century by the American Psychological Association. Paul has written over 14 books and 170 published articles having his work appear in Psychology Today, The New Yorker, Oprah, Larry King, and more.
  • Reading facial expressions with definitive evidence
  • There is some universality to our expressions across cultures, ages, and even species 
  • Expressions are a product of evolution 
  • There are 6-7 major universal emotions
    • Fear
    • Anger
    • Sadness
    • Disgust
    • Surprise
    • Enjoyment
    • Contempt (maybe not as robust evidence)
  • You have to avoid “Othello’s error” - you can read an emotion, but that doesn’t tell you what TRIGGERS it
  • The face, as a universal signal system, conveys a tremendous amount of information
  • There are 16 different types of enjoyment
  • How poker tells can teach us about emotional expressions and how we often read them wrong
  • We can know HOW people feel, but we cannot know what triggered how they feel
  • In one hour you can learn to read anyone's face
  • How making voluntary facial expressions can turn on and create any emotional statement
  • The hardest emotion to turn on is enjoyment
  • Emotions are memories, expectations, changes in what we think, and changes in how we can remember
  • When we are in the grip of an emotion - we most readily perceive things that fit the emotion we are experiencing and ignore things that don't
  • It’s not easy to manage your emotions, but it is possible
  • Fast onset vs slow onset emotional reactiveness
  • Fast vs slow emotional offset
  • The specific steps you can take to manage your emotions and create a gap between emotional triggers and emotional reactions
  • Diary / journal is a powerful tool for understanding and managing your emotional states
    • Record negative emotional experiences
    • See what they have in common
    • See if you can anticipate and prepare for negative emotions
  • Lessons from 50 hours with the Dalai Llama
  • Emotion is useful, powerful, but also can become cumbersome
Everything You Know About Sleep Is Wrong with Dr. Matthew Walker

Everything You Know About Sleep Is Wrong with Dr. Matthew Walker

January 4, 2018
In this episode we discuss everything you ever wanted to know about sleep. We examine the findings from hundreds of studies across millions of people and pull out the major findings about how vitally important sleep is, the global sleep loss epidemic, the stunning data about sleep and productivity, the simplest and most effective evidence based strategies for getting better sleep and much more with Dr. Matthew Walker. 
Dr. Matthew Walker is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Founder and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. He has published over 100 scientific studies and is the author of the book Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Which is currently the #1 Amazon Bestseller in Neuroscience . He has been featured on numerous television and radio outlets, including CBS 60 MinutesNational Geographic ChannelNOVA Science, NRP and the BBC.
  • Global sleep loss epidimic - the average American sleeps only 6.5 hours per night
  • Sleep has slowly been eroded by our society over the last 60 years
  • Sleep is vital and essential from an evolutionary standpoint - you can’t just lop off 25% of the necessary sleep you need 
  • Studies across millions of people show one clear thing - the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life
  • If you sleep less, you will be dead sooner, lack of sleep kills your more quickly
  • Lack of sleep is a major predictor of “all cause mortality” including cancer, alzheimers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and suicide
  • Hard science shows why a lack of sleep is tremendously bad for you
  • Sleep has an image problem, we stigmatize sleep and think its lazy and slothful - people wear lack of sleep as a badge of honor to be celebrated
  • Less sleep does not equal more productivity 
  • The 5 clear truths of sleep research and productivity
    • Under-slept employees take on less challenging problems
    • They produce fewer creative solutions
    • They exert less effort when working in groups (slacking off, social loafing)
    • They are more likely to lie, cheat, and engage in deviant behavior
    • The more or less sleep that a CEO has had, the more or less charismatic they will be
  • Chronic exhaustion cost most first world nation 2% of the GDP - 411 billion dollars lost each year to a lack of sleep
  • The research is very clear that under-slept individuals are not as productive or successful 
  • The evidence is resoundingly clear - cutting on sleep makes you less productive and less creative and less effective
  • After being awake for 21 hours, you’re as cognitively imparied as someoen who is legally drunk
  • The two principle types of sleep - REM sleep and non-REM sleep
  • The different stages of sleep - the 4 stages of REM sleep
  • Hard science shows that deep Sleep is critical to clearing toxins out of your brain
  • Sleep is like a sewage system for your brian - it cleans all the toxins and debris out of your brain
  • The less sleep you have, the higher your probability of getting alzheimers
  • Different cognitive systems in your brain also work during sleep - its like saving files to a hard drive, you have to sleep to get the save button
  • The emotional circuits of the brain are changed and modified by sleep - the amygdala (which controls fight or flight) is regulated by the prefontrol cortex
  • Lack of sleep can have a serious negative impact on your emotional health 
  • Sleep reboots body systems as well - not just the brain
  • Deep sleep is one of the best blood pressure medications you can imagine
  • Deep sleep regulates insulin levels and blood glucose levels
  • Sleep is also essential for the reproductive system 
  • Sleep boosts testosterone and lack of sleep makes you 10 years older from a testosterone standpoint
  • Apetite, weight, food consumption are all regulated by sleep - lack of sleep makes you eat 300-550 more calories per day, and makes you eat more high sugar and high carb foods
  • Sleep also has a profound impact on the immune system - one night of 4 hours of sleep will drop natural killer cells (body cancer fight cells) by 70%!
  • The link between lack of sleep and cancer the WHO recently classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen
  • Sleeping 5 hours per night makes you 200-300% more likely to catch a cold than someone sleeping 8 hours a night
  • There is not a SYSTEM or PROCESS in the body/brain that is not impacted by sleep
  • The most striking omission in the health literature today is that sleep is not at the center of the health conversation
  • 3 key ways sleep improves your learning
  • Is it wise to pull an all nighter? What does the research say?
  • The “memory inbox of the brain” (hippocampus) and how sleep is vital to creating and storing memories
  • Sleep is vital both BEFORE learning and AFTER learning to store and save new memories and solidify them into the architecture of the brain
  • Sleep replays information and strengthens memories
  • Sleep provides a 3x advantage to problem solving compared to an equivalent period being awake 
  • "The 6 Unpopular Tactics for Getting Enough Sleep"
    • Carve out enough time and make sleep a priority - carve out an 8 hour window to sleep every night
      • This is the #1 thing to do - regularity is KEY - go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, no matter what
      • Sleeping in late creates “social jetlag” which has serious negative consequences - regualirty of sleep is key
    • Keep the temperature cool - keep your bedroom 68 degrees - your body needs to drop its core temperature 2-3 degrees to fall asleep
      • You can hack this by taking a hot bath before bed
    • DARKNESS is key to producing melatonin. Phones, screens, blue light etc trick the brain into thinking its day time and shut off melatonin production
      • Reading on a tablet 1 hour before bed shifts your melatonin production 3 hours later!
      • Use blackout shades
      • No screens 1 hour before bed
    • Do NOT stay in bed if you’ve been in bed longer than 20 minutes. You brain is a very associative machine - being awake in bed trains the brain that its OK to be awake in bed. Get up, go to a different room, read a book in dim light, no screens, no eating. And only when you feel sleep return to bed, and you will re-learn the key association between making teh bed about sleep
      • Some people don’t like this idea. 
      • Meditation is a great way to get yourself to fall back asleep. The studies are very clear, very well done that meditation can help improve sleep. 
    • No caffeine after noon and avoid alcohol in the evenings. 
      • Caffein prevents deep sleep 
      • Alcohol fragments  your sleep and makes your wake up much more, leaving with unrestorative sleep
      • Alchohol blocks dreams and REM sleep 
  • Sedation is NOT sleep. Knocking out your cortext is not natural sleep. 
  • You could be A FAR BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF mentally, cognitively, physiology if you just got more sleep
  • Current sleeping pills are “sedative hypnotics” that do NOT productive naturalistic sleep, and do not get the benefits of sleep
  • Sleeping pills have a far higher risk of death, cancer, infection
  • CBTI - cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is just as effective as sleeping pills in the short term, but much more effective long term
  • Melatonin can be a useful tool to time the onset of sleep
  • Does napping work?
  • There is no such thing as the sleep bank - you can’t accumulate a debt and then hope to cash in on the weekend - sleep doesn’t work like that
  • Napping can prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep! Be careful!
  • How does GABA impact your sleep?
  • Sleep is a remarkably complex neurochemical ballet
Finding Joy In A World Full of Suffering - Lessons From a Former Buddhist Monk with Robert Thurman

Finding Joy In A World Full of Suffering - Lessons From a Former Buddhist Monk with Robert Thurman

December 28, 2017
This episode is a bit off the beaten path for us here at the Science of Success. Given this time of year, when many are thinking, reflecting, and being a bit more spiritual - we wanted to offer a different perspective. This episode is not as science based, but still provides a fascinating dialogue with a Buddhist monk, who was the first westerner ordained by the Dalai Lama, on life, meditation, mindfulness, and much more with our guest Robert Thurman.
Robert Thurman is a Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. Time magazine has called Robert “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.” and named him one of Time Magazine most influential Americans in 1997. Robert was the first westerner ever to be ordained as a Tibetan Monk by the Dalai Lama and his work and books have been featured all over the globe.
  • How Robert’s journey took him to becoming a Tibetan Monk under the Dalai Llama
  • The human being is a learning machine
  • The dogma of materialism - mind is the power that directs matter 
  • Inner science / buddhist science
  • The basic misunderstandings of buddhism from a western perspective
    • Life is suffering
    • It’s just meditation
  • Meditation without context isn’t useful 
  • The two kinds of meditation
    • Clearing your mind of thinking / emptying the mind
    • Analytic / critical meditation or “insight meditation”
      • Thinking something directed towards the exploration of yourself, ideas, or things around you 
  • How an egotistical approach creates “guaranteed misery” - you could become the most powerful person on the planet and people still wont think you’re important 
  • Why enlightenment is not clearing your mind of thoughts
  • The importance of focusing on and being open to other people
  • You can learn if you examine yourself and your world
  • The unexamined life will be frustrating
  • “Dis-identifying from the thought flow” will not get you to enlightenment
  • Look more objectively at your thought flow - see where thought flows arise, penetrate the thought flow, see the negative thoughts and the positive thoughts
    • What thought is that?
    • How accurate is it?
    • Where does it come from?
    • Whose voice is it? my mother’s voice? my fathers? my uncles? my teacher?
    • Gain leverage on how the mind works, edit how the mind works reinforce the positive insights, de-enforce the negative insights 
  • Stripping away false identities and beliefs
  • It’s helpful to have help of others - mobilize minds that are further along the path than you are - your the only one who can learn your reality in a  viscerally transformative way - use their help and follow their methods
  • How Eckart Tolle battled back from the verge of suicide - looking critically at negative thoughts 
  • Experiential understanding of the nature of reality - reality is beyond anyone’s idea of reality
  • The experience of reality is beyond our ability to describe it
  • How does the Dalai Llama keep up his joy, good humor, and happiness in a world full of so much suffering?
  • The nature of life itself is blissful. Reality is good. The more you’re open to reality, the happier you are. 
  • Broaden your attitude and orientation, don’t deny the bad experiences
  • When you’re miserable, you can’t help people. When you’re happy, you can. 
  • You have to put your own happiness oxygen mask on before you can help anyone else
  • The habitual perception that we are our own isolated egos vs the universe 
  • Interconnectedness of all life
  • Suffering and frustration are rooted in the false belief that you and your ego are the most important thing
  • The universe is empty of any non-relational entity
  • Buddhism is the opposite of ignorance is bliss, reality is bliss. You already have bliss, you have blocks of knowing and feeling and understand it. It’s YOU. You’re made of it. 
  • Wave particle paradox, Heinsberg uncertainty and the science of interconnectedness
  • Quantum physics, buddhism and the observer paradox
Evidence Reveals The Most Important Skill of the 21st Century with Dr. Tasha Eurich

Evidence Reveals The Most Important Skill of the 21st Century with Dr. Tasha Eurich

December 21, 2017
In this episode we discuss one of the most important evidence based psychology principles that make people successful - self awareness. We look at the difference between people who succeed and those who plateau. We talk about why self awareness is the meta-skill of the 21st century and the foundational skill required to succeed in anything, and we examine conclusions form over 800 scientific studies about self awareness with our guest Dr. Tasha Eurich.  
Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and principal of The Eurich Group. She received her Ph.D in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University and a BA in Theatre and Psychology. She is the New York Times Bestselling author of Bankable Leadership and INSIGHT. Her TED talk has been viewed over one million times and her work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, The New York Times and many more!
  • How Tasha uses evidence based psychology principles to make people more succesful
  • The difference between people who plateau and people who meet and defeat challenge head on
  • Self awareness “the meta skill of the 21st century"
  • What does the data show is linked to high self awareness?
  • Self awareness is foundational to all skills required to succeed
  • What does the Science say about Self Awareness?
  • Self aware people are:
    • More fulfilled
    • Better communications
    • More confidence
    • Have better relationships
    • More effective leaders
    • Run more profitable companies
  • Self awareness sets the UPPER LIMIT for the skills you need to be successful in the world today
  • "The secret weapon of the 21st century”
  • 95% people of people think that they are self aware but only 10-15% actually are
  • On a good day 80% of people are lying to themselves about lying to themselves
  • Conclusions from reviewing over 800 scientific studies to figure out WHAT self awareness was
  • The 2 broad categories of self awareness - the ability to see yourself cleary
    • Internal Self Awareness (introspective people)
    • External Self Awareness (pleasers)
  • Those 2 types of self knowledge are completely unrelated
  • Self knowledge underpins any other skill
  • Self awareness is an “infinitely learnable skill”
  • Research conclusions from people who began with a lack of self awareness, but then developed self awareness
  • There are no demographic commonalities between self awareness
  • The 3 categories of Self Awareness Unicorns 
    • Being in a new role / new set of rules
    • Earthquake events - usually negative - that are so devastating that they either cause is to bury our heads in the sand, or they become a catalyst for self awareness
    • The MOST LIKELY - everyday insights
  • You have a tremendous amount of opportunities within your daily life to improve your self awareness
  • The barriers to self awareness are myriad
    • Internal wiring of human beings - change the way you introspect
      • The power of substituting the word WHY for the word WHAT
    • The world we live in today - social media, reality TV, the “cult of self”
  • The cult of the self - and how our culture damages self awareness
  • The challenges of excavating our subconscious / unconscious mind
  • Moving forward with purpose, logic, and curiosity
  • Too much Introspection can make you anxious and depressed 
  • To gain insight, focus on moving FORWARD
  • Do your introspective practices serve you?
  • Tasha’s training regimen to start to develop self awareness
  • Tools for improving your internal and external self awareness
  • The power of "The Daily Check-In”
    • What went well today?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I do to be smarter tomorrow?
  • How you can use a “dinner of truth” to ask “What do I do that’s most annoying to you?”
    • Dont’ defend, explain, disagree, just LISTEN
  • The truth about feedback - you don't have to listen to or act on feedback from anyone
  • How to become aware of your true strengths and gifts - ask your close friends
    • WHY are you friends with me?
  • Most self awareness unicorns rely on a handful of KEY people to provide them with feedback
    • Someone has to truly have your back and want you to be truly successful
    • They have to be willing to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • The power of “loving critics”
  • Our strenghts - seem obvious to us which makes it hard for us to see them 
  • You must be very strategic and very focused on WHO you get feedback from
  • Self awareness unicorns don’t rely on other people to approach them with feedback. They never assumed that people would tell them ANYTHING - they took it on themselves to get regular feedback on their own terms
  • You need feedback from multiple sources to get a clear picture 
  • The easiest, highest payoff activity to get initial self awareness
Never Eat Alone - How Relationship Expert Keith Ferrazzi Built His World Class Network

Never Eat Alone - How Relationship Expert Keith Ferrazzi Built His World Class Network

December 14, 2017
In this episode we discuss how to master relationships, go deep into cutting edge networking strategies from one of the world’s top connectors, examine how to unite people in collaboration and co-elevation, the power of generosity in building real and authentic relationships, how to let go of individualism, and much more with Keith Ferrrazi.
Keith Ferrazzi is the CEO and founder of Ferrazzi Greenlight and the best selling author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone. Keith’s Greenlight Research Institute has proven the correlation between specific practices that improve relationships, with business success. His work has been featured in several high profile publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Business Review, Inc, Fast Company, and around the globe.
  • Why you need to make the shift form networking to authentic relationship building
  • The importance of leading with generosity to build real authentic relationships
  • Are you still clinging to the rugged john wayne individualism and self focus?
    • Keith wants to shift that to recognition that the greatest things in our lives only happen via co-creation
  • Co-creation vs collaboration - it's one step beyond collaboration, going higher together
  • How do we commit to growing together in the process? 
  • Co-elevation is an emotional commitment
  • Traditional hierarchies and silos no longer serve us
  • You have to put in the work to bring about co-elevation and co-creation
  • Take full responsibility for all the relationships around you - take responsibility for making those people successful 
  • The victim mindset and how to defeat it
  • For someone stuck in a victim mindset - how do they start making the shift towards responsibility?
  • “What’s your blue flame?”
    • What really matters to others?
    • What drives success in their eyes?
    • How do you serve that?
  • Do you really know the blue flame of your boss? What does your boss truly care about?
  • How do you become a conduit for other people to achieve their goals? (And why that’s so important) 
  • Focus on fully understanding what a person needs, wants and how you can serve them
  • 2 Key shifts you have to make to get out of the victim mindset:
    • Understanding that it’s all on you to take action
    • Understand that it’s all about “them” (and the more broadly you define them, the more successful you will be)
  • You can’t unite people, you can’t achieve greatness, unless you know how to create “us"
  • Creating is the new competency of leadership
  • How do you invite this community into becoming a movement?
  • The 3 reason people don’t get on board with Co-creation
    • Laziness
    • Cowardice
    • Sense of Entitlement / Ego / Vindictiveness / Indulgence
  • You have no choice if you want to be successful other than to embrace relationship building
  • Practice is the KEY to building successful relationships and enabling co-creation
  • How success has impacted Keith’s networking tactics and strategies
  • As you become successful - the question becomes more and more about filtering and where to focus time and energy 
  • The earlier you practice, the more often you do it, the more concrete and impactful those behaviors will be 
  • All around you are extraordinary people - hang out with them and build them for the long term 
Your Secret Weapon to Becoming Fearless with Jia Jiang

Your Secret Weapon to Becoming Fearless with Jia Jiang

December 7, 2017
In this episode we explore rejection in depth. We talk about the incredible power of rejection, go deep into rejection therapy, look at the incredible results created by seeking out rejection and living beyond your comfort zone, talk about the magic of asking why, hear a few incredible stories from 100 days of rejection, and much more with our guest Jia Jiang. 
Jia Jiang is the founder 100 Days of Rejection and the author of Rejection Proof. In an effort to overcome his fear of rejection Jia spent 100 Days forcing himself into situation after situation where rejection was almost guaranteedJia has been featured on the TED Stage, Forbes, Business Insider, and much more.
  • Jia’s personal relationship with rejection
  • The misalignment between wanting to achieve and being afraid of rejection
  • The only way to overcome your fear is to embrace it and meet it head on
  • How to become a badass and become fearless
  • Saying no with grace - how to say no with grace
    • Show people alternatives
    • Give them something else / help them to get a yes in some way
    • Have respect
  • "Everything amazing and beautiful happens outside your comfort zone"
  • The amazing power of forcing yourself to constantly challenge and operate outside your comfort zone
  • The importance of understanding the vast majority will stay say no to you and why that doesn’t matter
    • It doesn’t matter when you get rejected
    • The few people that say yes make a huge impact - a real breakthrough
  • "How many yesses have I missed in my life?”
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
  • It’s not about getting a yes - it’s about EXPLORING and CREATING SOMETHING
  • The worst thing that can happen is you saying no to yourself
  • It’s about having fun and challenging yourself
  • Jia’s advice for someone who is afraid to take the first step
  • How to take the first step and overcome the inertia of facing your first rejection
  • Start small, just a little bit outside of your comfort zone, and grow
  • How you can even blend rejection therapy into your work and your career as well
  • If you ask enough, there is no request that will get rejected by everyone
  • What to do if you feel like you’re bothering people when you ask them for something
  • Be curious, don’t make your goal to get a yes - make your goal to ask 10 people 
  • Turning no into yes, and the magic of asking “why”
  • Ask people why they said no to you - find out what the reason is
  • What Jia learned from asking a stranger to plant a flower in his back yard
  • The power of doubt and empathy
  • Humor and positivity - don't take yourself too seriously
  • Give a stranger a high five! 
  • We go through a bunch of rapid rejection techniques you can use right now
  • You can do rejection therapy for FUN - or you can align it with you goals! 
  • Embrace rejection - rejection means something GOOD not something BAD
  • Rejection doesn’t mean you’re wrong - the stronger the rejcetion, the stronger your connection with people on the other side
  • The flip side of rejection is the power of people who are part fo your tribe
  • Jia’s Life Mission to the movement of rejection therapy 
The Psychology Secrets of Extreme Athletes, NFL Teams & The World’s Top Performers with Dr. Michael Gervais

The Psychology Secrets of Extreme Athletes, NFL Teams & The World’s Top Performers with Dr. Michael Gervais

November 30, 2017
In this episode we explore what it takes to succeed at the highest possible levels, we get science and data from years in the trenches with top performers to uncover the strategies that really work for achieving results, we dig deep into the life long quest of discovering your own personal philosophy and much more with Dr. Michael Gervais. 
Dr. Michael Gervais - Michael is a high performance psychologist who trains mindset skills and practices that are essential to revealing one’s potential. Michael has worked with some of the world’s top performers including sports teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, Felix Baumgartner (The Red Bull Sponsored Athlete Who Completed the Stratosphere Jump)Olympians, musicians, and more! His work has been featured on ESPN, CNN, The New York Times, and much more!
  • Years in the trenches with top performers to get the best strategies
  • The importance of rugged and hostile environments to cultivating presence and peak performance
  • The value of working hard and getting right on the edge of capacity in order to grow
  • Our ancient brain is the thing that gets us stuck, keeps us safe, and keeps us small
  • The importance of stillness - the place where all of life happens
  • Expressing your authentic self in harmony with other people
  • There are only 3 things you can train as a human
    • You can train your body
    • You can train your craft - this varies by person - can be anything from writing to motorcross to partening
    • You can train your mind
    • Everything falls into those buckets when we talk about the development of the human experience
  • A personal philosophy is one of the most significant anchors you can ground yourself with. Great achievers always have clarity of personal philosophy
  • Line up your thoughts, words, and actions across any environment - there is a sense of power that comes from that - an inner knowing and being that is so rock solid that you can move eloquently in any environment when you have that mindset
  • The life-long quest of discovering your own personal philosophy - and the 3 methodologies
    • Mindfulness - being present with your inner experience
    • Being around wise people - people who are switched on, people who are having deep convos, talking about their philosophies, having those conversations
    • Writing - the art of writing, taking a thought and all the words in your native tongue and lock down these ideas and concepts
  • Start with putting your philosophy to memory, and then most importantly begin putting your philosophy into practice
  • There’s nothing new in the world of self help - the science is super clear - this is what we know to be true - you just have to do the work
  • Optimism is a foundational pillar for mental toughness, optimism is about how you think about your future
  • Optimism is a learned behavior - how to train it
    • Relentless belief that you can focus your mind on what’s good
    • First function - without awareness of inner dialogue you’re dead in the water - you must have meditation/mindfulness - train your inner experience to become more aware of thoughts and sensations
    • Second - Martin Seligman - focus on 3 good things - gratitude journal 
    • Become a researcher of amazing / researcher of good in your own life 
  • Mindfulness is the backbone that runs through all of these strategies
  • Going through difficult things doesn’t mean you will be traumatized - Post Traumatic Growth is also possible - How can you achieve post traumatic growth?
  • “Small t trauma” vs “Big T Trauma"
  • Resilience is at the center of growth - and the only way to become resilient is to go through difficult situations
  • The difficult things you go through either get you stuck or push you to the edge of growth.
  • In modern life for the average person  - the most dangerous thing is what people think of us
  • Getting uncomfortable is a requirement for you to be your best. This can be easily demonstrated with any world class performer from music to sports to any field.
  • Knowledge won’t carry us through - it's not about more information - that learning has to turn into application and action. Learning has to turn into insights - and those insights need to change your behavior
  • The 4 Pillars of Recovery
    • Sleeping well - the science is pretty clear - the commitment to doing that requires incredible discipline
    • Eating & Hydration are necessary pillars - colorful vegetables & clean protein 
    • Moving well - getting your body switched on, oxygenating your system - 6-7 hours of moderate to intense movement per week
    • Think Well - your mind is an incredible tool, but it also needs to be harnessed
  • Most people cannot even fathom the amount of vulnerability necessary to get to the truth - radical vulnerability - allowing the inner stuff to be revealed - is incredible, and so hard to do - most of us retreat to our normal patterns 
  • Doing difficult things expands your comfort zone
  • How do you strike the balance between achievement and non-attachment?
  • Winning is fun, winning pays bills - but the far deeper part of that is that the process of becoming - the process of knowing that you have what it takes, the process of being creative to solve problems on the fly and make decisions is much more fun. 
  • Winning is a requirement to keep going - but in order to cultivate non-attachment you have to be focused on the present moment
  • Practice is more important than the conceptual idea itself
  • What is your “craft" and why is it so important?
  • For most people who are not on the world stage - begs the question - what is my craft? It’s not as complicated as it sounds - what are you most passionate about - what is the thing you care so much about you love doing it, you put work into it?
  • Get back to seeing what we do from 9-5 as a primary craft - think about your work and your job as a craft
  • Social media has made us lose our way, lose our true north, lose our focus on our craft
  • Taking time to think about and articulate your personal philosophy - just starting WRITING “My personal philosophy is…” in 25 words or less - what do you stand for, what are you all about? What’s your true north, your compass?
  • Write down the people who have inspired you in life - and next to their names right down the characteristics that they expemplify - those characertics might be part of your philosophy
  • How you can engineer your inner experience
  • Mindfulness is not a relaxation training - it's a focus training 
  • That moment of awareness (that your mind has wandered) is the work taking place
  • Minimum effective dose is 6-8 minutes, optimal dose is 20 minutes
  • Compete to become the best version of yourself
  • Every day is an opportunity to create a living masterpiece 
  • And much more! 
Introducing Tuesday Talks - The 80/20 Principle

Introducing Tuesday Talks - The 80/20 Principle

November 28, 2017

We're extremely excited to introduce to you a new occasional segment of The Science of Success, Tuesday Talks!

Are you tired of all the BS and fluff that oftentimes accompanies personal development? Tuesday Talks delivers to you Evidence Based Growth tactics that are proven to work and deliver maximum impact in your life in under five minutes. 

In this episode, we dive into the 80/20 principle and the impact it can have on your life starting today. This principle can be applied to everything in life. By utilizing it the right way, you can ensure you are focusing on the right things, getting the most out of your time, and ultimately, begin producing more results than you ever thought possible. 

Proven Practices For Building The Ultimate Competitive Advantage with Todd Davis

Proven Practices For Building The Ultimate Competitive Advantage with Todd Davis

November 22, 2017
In this episode we discuss the proven strategies building effective relationships, why it’s vital to understand that the results you get in the world are a result of working with other people, how you can see the world from other people’s perspectives, tactics for building your credibility, how to get better feedback and much more with Todd Davis. 
Todd Davis is the Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Franklin Covey and author of the new book Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. Todd is responsible for Franklin Covey’s global talent development in over 40 offices in 160 countries and previously served as director of innovations, developing many of the company’s core offerings.
  • The culture of an organization can make all the difference
  • The nature of relationships between people becomes a companies ultimate competitive advantage
  • Todd’s lessons from working with and coaching hundreds of companies and executives
  • What did Sarte mean when he said that “Hell is other people?”
  • The ultimate way you are measured is by the results you get
  • You get your results WITH and THROUGH and other people
  • What we see determines everything we do, and what we do determines the results we get
  • Consider stepping back and understanding that their may be a different way to view things - that can powerfully impact your relationships
  • Ask yourself “have you considered the other person’s perspective?”
  • An exercise can you use right now to start to see the world from other people’s perspectives
  • The power of examining your real motives
  • How to avoid the pitfall of self deception
  • Journaling exercise you can use to understand your real motives
  • “The Five Whys” - keep asking why until you get to the root cause
  • The most effective, successful, and influential people start with themselves first
  • Be the change you seek in others
  • Your circle of influence vs your circle of concern
  • Why you should focus your time, energy, effort, and resources on things that you can impact and control
  • The power of asking “Can you help me understand something?”
  • Start with humility - the power of having humility in dealing with tough conversations
  • Proactive, effective people don’t wait for feedback, they actively go and seek it out
  • The 4 common reasons why we don’t seek feedback (and what you can do about them)
  • A great opening line for dealing with tough conversations and situations 
  • Seeking validation vs actually seeking feedback
  • How to “behave your way to credibility”
  • The 2 key components for credibility - character and competence 
  • The importance of taking the long view when building credibility
  • An exercise you can use to build your credibility over the long term
  • The single biggest mistake of influencing other people - not “walking your talk”
  • Make sure someone deeply understands your intent
  • How to communicate effectively with someone who is in an emotional state 
  • When emotions are high - that’s not the moment to start addressing the problem
  • With people - "fast is slow and slow is fast"
  • Take the time to let someone share, just try to understand them 
  • The socratic method of influencing people - if you ask the right questions, seek understanding, and uncover the real issues - you can solve serious problems
  • Todd shares a personal story that deeply impacts the lessons we discuss in the show
  • In the end, relationships are the most important thing. 
How To Learn More In Record Time - Speed Reading, Concentration, & Memory with Jim Kwik

How To Learn More In Record Time - Speed Reading, Concentration, & Memory with Jim Kwik

November 16, 2017
In this episode we discuss how our guest went from a childhood head injury to becoming an accelerated learning expert. We cover memory, speed reading, improving your focus, taking notes like an expert and go deep into tactics for accelerated learning. We talk about the importance of mastering the fundamentals, and get into tons of highly specific and actionable advice you can use today with our guest Jim Kwik. 
Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning and Superhero You. Jim is a brain coach in speed reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning. Jim’s methods and work have been utilized by with several high profile companies including Nike, SpaceX, and GE, as well as individuals such as the Clintons, Oprah, Richard Branson and more.
  • We’ve discovered more in the last 20 years about the human brain than we learned in the 2000 years before that
  • How Jim went from growing up with learning challenges from an early childhood head injury to become an expert in accelerated learning and speed reading
  • How to read 30 books in 30 days
  • How we can actually retain what we read
  • Knowledge is not power, its only potential power 
  • The one super power you want to master in the 21st century (learn faster)
  • Traditional speed reeding, skimming, skipping words, getting the gist of something is not enough - its about fully capturing and retaining the information
  • The average person reads 1-2 books per year, but the average CEO reads 4-5 books per month
  • What Bill Gates said the #1 super power he would pick would be
  • Warren buffet said he wasted 10 years of his life reading too slowly
  • How you can gain 2 months of productive time per year
  • Why motivation is such a critical component of accelerated learning - have a purpose for why you read
  • "H-Cubed” - 3 things you need for motivation to have accelerated learning 
  • The fastest way to read something is not to read it at all - figured out what your end goal is
  • How you can remember names more effectively & become a great connector
  • If you forget someone’s name, you show that they’re not important to you
  • Self Awareness is a super power 
  • “Smart reading” - what’s your goal for reading these books?
  • How to give a speech without notes
  • Half of success is just mindset, then get the mechanics right
  • Brain Hacks for Speed Reading
  • “Leaders are readers” and why Jim thinks you should read 30 minutes per day 
  • 12 things Jim does every morning to jumpstart his brain
  • Mental fitness is as important, if not more important, than mental intelligence
  • If you read 45 minutes a day, on average, you should be able to read a book a week
  • Using a “visual pacer” and how that brain hack can help you instantly double your reading speed
  • The adventure of lifelong learning
  • One of the biggest traps in the personal development field is the “next new thing”
  • People who are truly on the path to Mastery focus on the fundamentals and get REALLY REALLY GOOD at the BASICS
  • How to get a 20-50% boost in your reading speed right now
  • Excellence comes down to a set of routines, rituals, and habits
  • If we always do the easy thing in life, life becomes hard, if we do the hard things, life becomes easy
  • BEMAT = behavior equals motivation ability and trigger
  • The primacy principle and the recency principle - and why you should chunk and take breaks to create more “beginnings and ends”
  • Start as simply as possible - pick up a book and read one word
  • "Upleveling your ability to process information” not just skimming - reading so that you understand 
  • Another brain hack - talk to someone else about what you just learned - we learn best by co-creating and sharing information
  • If you make everything important than nothing is important
  • It's not about reading slowly or quickly - its about reading for understanding - reading faster creates flow and focus 
  • Read for maximum comprehension and understanding for the goal you have for your reading
  • You can learn things faster by overcoming the forgetting curve - you forget 80% of what you’ve learned within 2 days
  • There is a difference between taking notes vs making notes - note taking is capturing ideas, note making is writing your impressions of what you’re capturing - you’re CREATING, questions you have, how it relates to what you already know, how you would teach it to someone else
  • Ultimately all learning comes down to associations - that’s why metaphors are so powerful
  • Mindmapping is an incredibly powerful strategy for you to remember concepts and ideas
  • Most successful people in any industry journal on a regular basis - journalling helps us retain information and make new associations to things
  • Brain hack - learn something with the intention of teaching someone else very specific - or think you were coaching someone or teaching them or giving a presentation on these topics. When you teach something you get to learn it twice. 
  • The FAST method - 4 strategies for learning anything more quickly
    • Forget what you already know about a subject (set it aside)
    • Active - be active about learning (doing problems, engaging your mind, etc). Learning is not a spectator sport. 
    • State - all learning is state dependent. Information + emotion becomes a long term memory. 
    • Teach - learn to benefit yourself and learn to teach others
  • Forget about your limitations - if you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them - add the word “yet” to negative self talk - be very careful to the words you put behind the words “I am”
  • Be a thermostat not a thermometer
  • To turn knowledge into real power - you have to schedule it into an activity and execute that 
The Skeptics Guide To Meditation With Dan Harris

The Skeptics Guide To Meditation With Dan Harris

November 9, 2017
In this episode we discuss how our guest went from a hard-nosed skeptic who thought most self help was BS, to someone who uncovered the evidence based growth strategies that actually work. We talk about our guest’s journey from meeting self help gurus, to spiritual teachers, and neuroscientists to discover the biggest lessons about improving your mind and body, and the simple, scientifically validated tool that evidence demonstrates is the best way to be happier with Dan Harris. 
Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Dan regularly contributes to Nightline, 20/20, and World News and has covered stories from all over the world including war reporting in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as investigative reports in Haiti, Cambodia, the Congo and more. Dan is the author of the book 10% Happier and his work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, and much more.
  • How Dan went from being a skeptical hard-nosed reporter who thought meditation and self was was largely “bullshit”
  • What happened when Dan had a panic attack in front of 5 million people on Live TV
  • What it’s like to have your mind get hijacked by the most boring person alive
  • Dan’s journey of visiting self help gurus, religious leaders, neuroscientists and more led him to one major conclusion about how to improve your brain and your body
  • How many self help gurus are correct, but often not useful in a practical sense
  • Simple and scientifically validated tool to deal with the voice in your head
  • The secrets of "contemplative neuroscientists"
  • How to train up the ability to focus, deal with emotions, be nice to other people, be nice to yourself, have patience, and be grateful
  • The radical notion, supported by research, that you can literally train and transform your brain to prime it for happiness
  • Happiness is skill, according to the science, and it can be trained
  • There are thousands of kinds of meditation and it’s not useful to get overly dogmatic about the superiority of one method over the other
  • Dan gravitates towards mindfulness meditation because it has valuable and strong research supporting it
  • The basic and simple strategy you can use to start meditating RIGHT NOW
  • You don’t need to clear your mind - clearing your mind is impossible
  • Think about meditation like going to the gym - if you’re not sweating and panting you're not doing it right, meditation is like bicep curls for the brain
  • The whole game of meditation is have the collision with the voice in your head and return to breath
  • How to defeat anxiety, depression, and panic attacks using meditation
  • What to do if you don’t have enough time to meditate
  • The false belief that meditation is self indulgent and a waste of time
  • The myth that you will lose your edge if you start meditating
  • The different between responding wisely and reacting blindly
  • How do we strike a balance between acceptance/mindfulness and achievement?
  • Non-attachment to results - you are not fully in control of the universe - everything is interconnected and multifactorial - the wise stance for an ambitious person is to recognize that you shouldn’t be attached to results
  • How do we battle back from nihilism if we go to deep down the path of buddhism?
  • We do have some agency to impact the universe, but we aren’t the master of the universe
  • The importance of seeing things as they are instead of as you want them to be
  • It’s not about perfection its about marginal improvement,  a 10% improvement compounds
  • Meditation is simple but not easy
The Ancient Molecule You Can Use To Unlock Peak Performance with Dr. Paul Zak

The Ancient Molecule You Can Use To Unlock Peak Performance with Dr. Paul Zak

November 2, 2017
In this episode we discuss the groundbreaking research behind the ancient molecule that fuels peak performance, the foundations of neuroeconomics, how our brains react during social interactions, we examine how our brains are designed to connect and built to work cooperatively, we dig into the power of oxytocin and how you can increase it in your life, and much more with Dr. Paul Zak.
Dr. Paul Zak is founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology, and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He was also among the team of scientists who were the first to use brain imaging to identify the role of oxytocin as a key driver of trust, love, and morality that distinguish our humanity. Paul is the author of the new book Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies and has appeared on ABC World News, CNN, Fox Business, and more.
  • Paul founded the field of Neuroeconomics - what is that?
  • How are humans able to interact with total strangers when that is impossible in the animal kingdom?
  • How do our brains balance the risks of meeting a stranger vs the benefits of increased social influence?
  • Our brains live in this soup of chemicals, none of which we are aware of consciously
  • How Paul’s groundbreaking research transformed what scientists thought about the production of oxytocin and how humans build trust 
  • Testosterone inhibits oxytocin synthesis
  • People are complicated, its important to have a lot of acceptance 
  • Oxytocin is an on/off switch
  • Paul challenges the listeners to a fight! 
  • Our brains naturally help us adapt to the environment we are in
  • How do we get people in groups to perform at their highest level
  • How you can train your brain to release more oxytocin
  • Learn how to read the emotional state of the people around you
  • “All research is me-search”
  • How “listening with your eyes” can help boost your oxytocin and help you become more in sync with people
  • The “evil trick” you can use to get tons of information when you meet someone (it’s NOT what you expect!)
  • Our brains are designed to connect, we want to be connected. We are naturally open to touch. Our brains are built to work cooperatively. 
  • Strategies you can use in your daily life to increase your oxytocin 
  • How companies can measure and manage their culture for high trust and high performance
  • The 8 key building blocks leaders can use to build trust and improve high performance
  • Paul focuses on measuring brain activity and use that to solve real problems that humans have.
  • Its all about empowering humans to be their best selves
  • The neuroscience firmly demonstrates the power and vital importance of sleep 
  • How you can implement concrete changes to get the biggest bang for your buck in building a culture of high performance
  • We trust people more who are their real, vulnerable, natural selves
  • Why you should replace “how was your weekend” with “hey you look really <insert emotion on their face>” to build deeper relationships
  • Almost no human can survive on their own - we only survive in groups - we must understand how to engage the groups that we are constantly around
  • Science predicts, and data strongly supports, that people want to be and enjoy being part of high performance groups
  • Relationships are super important 
  • Why isn’t work an adventure? How can we make a work an adventure
  • Connecting, touching, giving a gift - give the gift of connection, empowerment, love, to someone around you
  • Effective social behaviors are rooted in SERVICE and serving others
How You Can Use Behavioral Design To Create Any Habit You Want with Nir Eyal

How You Can Use Behavioral Design To Create Any Habit You Want with Nir Eyal

October 26, 2017
In this episode we discuss How To Use “Mind Control” Techniques to Create Any Habit You Want, why we are driven much more by pain than pleasure, the “hook” model for describing human behavior, how to hack your rewards to change your behavior, the power of tiny amounts of friction, and much more with Nir Eyal. 
Nir Eyal is an expert in “behavioral design” having worked in both advertising and video gaming helping companies build and create more engaging products. Nir is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the book Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products and has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, and more. Nir is an active angel investor and currently writes to help companies create good habit and behaviors in their users on his blog
We discuss:
  • Persuasion, mind control, and behavioral design
  • What is a habit and how do you define it?
  • How we can leverage technology to build healthier habits
  • How 50% of your actions take place with little or no unconscious thought
  • Internal vs External triggers 
  • There is only one reason you use a product or service - to modulate your mood - that’s it
  • Our behaviors are driven NOT by seeking of pleasure, but rather the quelling of a unconformable emotion 
  • Figure out what your frequently occurring internal triggers are
  • We are driven more by PAIN than by PLEASURE
  • There’s no end to what we can accomplish if we can understand that pain is our primary motivator
  • Even seeking pleasure = satisfying the PAIN of WANTING
  • The power of the unknown to draw us in 
  • The 4 stages of the “Hook” Model on how Habits are formed and sustained
  • Rewards are actually wanting to quell the “stress of desire”
  • Discomfort drives us to action
  • How the same mental hardwiring behind addiction also underpins love and desire
  • The easier you can make a behavior the more likely people are to do it
  • The biggest thing that drives people to adopt technology is making life EASIER
  • Reward itself doesn’t have much impact on your brain, its the anticipation of the reward that drives us 
  • 3 Kinds of Variable Rewards
    • Rewards of the Tribe
    • Rewards of the Hunt
    • Rewards of the Self
  • The power of adaptability
  • Belief is as much of a factor in addiction as physical dependency itself
  • How making a behavior just a little bit easier can have dramatic results
  • How to put the hook model in reverse and destroy bad habits
  • How putting space between steps in your habit loop can create massive changes
  • Even small amounts of friction can change the marginal decision and make a habit much harder
  • How can you make bad habits more difficult, take longer, or be harder to do?
  • How you can use “temptation bundling” to break the hold of variable rewards in your habit loop
  • Never do something when you don’t have the end in sight - do things that have a finite END so that you don’t get hooked
  • Key question you must ask yourself: Is this technology serving ME, or am I serving IT?
  • One simple piece of advice to implement the ideas discussed in this interview right away
  • How to leverage technology to combat technology that is distracting you 
How This Astronaut Survived Going Blind In Space & Tools for Crushing Fear with Chris Hadfield

How This Astronaut Survived Going Blind In Space & Tools for Crushing Fear with Chris Hadfield

October 19, 2017
In this episode, we discuss what happened when our guest astronaut Chris Hadfield went blind during a space walk - and how he made it out alive. We talk about the mental toughness necessary to survive extremely dangerous situations like that, discuss in depth how astronauts deal with fear, look at the vital importance of powerful training to deal with huge risks, and much more with  Chris Hadfield.
Chris Hadfield, who the BBC called “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong" has been a part of several space missions with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA. He served as Chief of Robotics and Chief of International Space Station Operations. Chris was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and inducted to the Canadian Aviation Hall Of Fame. In addition to his work as an engineer and astronaut Chris is an author, musician, and speaker.
We discuss:
  • The 3 key things that enabled chris to make it all the way through the astronaut selection process
  • How Chris survived going BLIND during a space walk in outer space!!
  • How astronauts rescue incapacitated crew in outer space
  • How to cultivate the mental toughness to survive the most dangerous situations imaginable
  • The learned and trained ability to deal with extremely complex circumstances
  • Why Chris was an astronaut for 21 years and only spent 6 months in space, thats how important training is
  • In outer space, you can’t count on luck, you count on your own learned ability to deal with the probable things that could go wrong
  • How NASA develops training programs to do everything possible to be successful
  • The vital importance of visualizing failure and understanding what could go wrong
  • The importance of practicing the 10,000 things that could go wrong
  • Astronauts don’t visualize success, they practice for failure, all the time
  • Visualize failure, incrementally improve, don't count on luck
  • NASA’s Recipe for Success
  • The relationship between DANGER and FEAR
  • Things aren't’ scary, but people get scared
  • Things don’t change whether or not you are afraid of them - the ONLY question is whether or not you are prepared
  • Preparation is the antidote to fear, if you’re ready, you won’t be afraid
  • Your body’s physiology reacts to being unprepared to a dangers situation with a reaction we simply call “fear”
  • Perpetual fear = STRESS (and overwhelm)
  • Ask yourself “what thing am I not prepared for that is causing me stress?"
  • Listen to fear, but don’t keep fear from allowing you to dictate your life
  • How do you change your own threshold of fear?
  • How to overcome your fear of spiders!
  • Recognize real threats through the noise of the non threats
  • if you dont know what to be afraid fo, then your afraid of everything
  • the difference between belief and knowledge
  • If you're afraid of a jaguar, should you be afraid of a kitten?
  • One of the ways to increase your own significance is to exaggerate your problems
  • Why the perception that the world is more dangerous now than ever is fundamentally flawed
  • "The Sky is Not The Limit"
  • Life is TOUGH and the earth is TOUGH - it’s been here for 4.5 billion years
  • The perspective of an astronaut viewing the entire world from above
  • The shared nature of human existence
  • Why Chris recommends that you should “aim to be a zero”
  • Take the time to get informed, understand what is happening, and then take action
  • The building is very seldom on fire, yet we always treat it like it is
  • In space, ”there is no problem so bad, that you can’t make it worse”
  • Don’t just accept your fear, understand WHY, dig in, and treat it clinically - whats the REAL danger, whats the REAL problem I’m trying to solve, how can I change who I am to solve that problem / challenge better, what skill am I lacking? Why am I allowing myself to be terrified? 
  • How can I change myself to move beyond fear
  • Fear is a destructive long term solution to anything
Hack Your Biochemistry To Create Spontaneous Weight Loss and Improved Mental Health by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary

Hack Your Biochemistry To Create Spontaneous Weight Loss and Improved Mental Health by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary

October 12, 2017
In this episode we discuss how neurology's perspective on the brain fundamentally ignores the health of the entire system, we look at your gut biome’s role in depression, mood regulation and how the microbiome controls your behavior and emotions, we ask why it is so hard for people to break negative eating habits, talk about the biochemistry of addiction, the incredible importance of understanding your microbiome and gut health with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary. 
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary is a neuroscientist and Ayurveda expert. She has participated in over 20 clinical research studies working with new stem cell therapies for diabetic neuropathy and drug development for the treatment of ALS. Dr. Chaudhary is the author of The Prime: Prepare and Repair Your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss, and is a regular guest on the Dr. Oz show!
  • How Dr. Chaudhary’s personal experience led her down the path of integrative medicine
  • The health of the brain is highly dependent on the health of the gut
  • Auyerveda is the oldest recorded medical system in the world - one of the oldest forms of “lifestyle medicine"
  • Why food is medicine
  • The way you live dictates whether you are sick or healthy
  • Disease is a result of imbalance and can be cured by changing habits
  • How the Neurologist’s perspective on the brain fundamentally ignores the health of the entire system
  • Dr. Chaudhary’s perspective on how eastern & integrative medicine can be integrated with western science to form a more holistic solution for health
  • Tumeric is a great example of a spice that has scientifically demonstrated health benefits
  • Micro-biome & gut health underpins huge medical issues
  • Western medicine is just now catching up with insights from 5000 year old holistic medicines
  • 90% of your serotonin comes from your gut and gut health is a major factor in depression 
  • Scientifically, the mind and mental health are deeply connected and directly related gut health
  • Why is it so hard for people to break negative eating habits? Is it really just a question of willpower?
  • The neurochemistry and biochemistry that underpins negative eating habits
  • Your micro biome itself can shift your eating habits and make you desire and consume certain foods
  • The science behind how addictions form in our brains (especially food addictions)
  • Why 85% of people cannot change the way they are eating with willpower
  • The biochemistry of addiction and food addiction & the role dopamine plays 
  • How food scientists have engineered junk food to produce massive dopamine spikes
  • The dangers of overstimulated dopamine receptors and how they lead to addiction
  • An obese person’s brain chemistry responds the same way to sugar as a cocaine addict responds to cocaine
  • Environmental toxins and toxic inflammation and how they impact your body
  • Enteric nervous system - the “brain inside your gut” which produces 95% of the serotonin and 50% of the dopamine in your body
  • “The gut does most of the talking and the brain does most of the listening”
  • Who dictates the content of what the gut says? The Microbiome 
  • "How smart is your gut?"
  • How fecal matter transplants in mice can completely reverse genetically engineered personality traits
  • Research clearly demonstrates that your micro-biome controls your behavior and emotions
  • We are still in the infancy of discovering and understanding the microbiome - there is a lot of “noise” that’s hard to understand
  • The importance of taking an individualized approach to gut health - its not always about taking probiotics or fermented food
  • The most foundational steps to implement in order to improve your gut health
  • The simplest interventions are usually the most powerful
  • How Tumeric has helped reduced Alzheimers disease by 75% in India
  • Foods and spices are more interactive than the “unilateral” approach of western medicines - interacting with multiple cells and systems, rather than a hyper focused intervention
  • We discuss a variety of herbs and supplements that Dr. Chaudhary recommends to improve your gut health and microbiome
  • The environment can interact with your genes to change genetic expression
  • Dr. Chaudhary’s work as a neurologist revealed many of the same conclusions from Auyervedic medicine
  • How your genes interact with the environment, including what you’re eating, to create the outcomes in your life
The Military Influence Training that Maps Out Human Weakness, Harnesses Confusion, and Triggers Obedience in Others With Chase Hughes

The Military Influence Training that Maps Out Human Weakness, Harnesses Confusion, and Triggers Obedience in Others With Chase Hughes

October 5, 2017
In this episode we discuss the darker side of how the US military influences human behavior - we touch on brainwashing, reading human body language, creating Manchurian candidates, how this one psychological bias can convince strangers to murder someone more than 80% of the time, how to profile someone and search for their weaknesses, and much more with Chase Hughes. 
Chase Hughes is the founder of Ellipsis Behavior Laboratories and the amazon bestselling author of The Ellipsis Manual. Chase previously served in the US Navy as part of the correctional and prisoner management departments. Chase speaks on a variety of topics including brainwashing and attraction and frequently develops new programs for the US Government and members of anti human-trafficking teams around the world.
We discuss:
  • How seeing "how weak and vulnerable everyone was" transformed Chase’s worldview
  • Is it possible to create real world Manchurian candidates? 
  • Why you’re grossly underestimating the work necessary to read human body language and understand human behavior
  • Why the typical strategies of influence won’t work unless you can profile and understand the individual - and tailor what you’re saying and doing to meet that individuals weaknesses and needs
  • One of the best things you can start doing every single day
  • Simple questions you can use to “disengage someone from autopilot” and break the pattern they are stuck in
  • How you can develop “FIC" to hack human behavior 
    • Focus
    • Interest
    • Curiosity
  • The “RAS” - reticular activation system - constantly looking for things that are threats and things that are socially valuable
  • Social authority and perceived authority are more important than influence in shaping human behavior
  • How the Milgrim experiment fundamentally demonstrates the incredible power of the authority bias
  • The one strategy that can be effective influencing strangers to commit murder more than 80% of the time
  • The 5 key factors you can use to hack authority and trigger an “obedient” response
    • Dominance / ambition 
    • Discipline
    • Leadership
    • Gratitude
    • Fun /  sense of adventure
  • When we interact with authority we go through an “agentic” shift - our brain shifts responsibility for our own actions onto the person who instructed us to do it - you can make people take extreme behaviors if you get them to give YOU responsibility for their actions
  • Master yourself first before you can influence others
    • Master environment first
    • Master your time - keeping a plan and sticking to it
    • Master the mechanics of your habits
    • Master your attention span
  • Tactics for mastering authority today
    • Express genuine interest in other people and make them feel INTERESTING not interested
    • Remember the phrase - LEADERSHIP through SUPPORT
  • The people who think they are alpha males are usually NOT the alpha male - big dogs don’t feel the need to bark
  • The Columbo method - make deliberate social errors, be vulnerable, start with an insecurity - that helps open people up to influence
  • Chase offers a challenge to you - Talk to a stranger every single day. And once that gets easy, you have to push out your comfort zone even further. 
  • The Texas crosswalk study - why wearing a suit makes you more likely to get people to follow you than wearing jeans
  • Why you should ask unique questions and do unique things
  • The 3 tools you can use to develop a profile of anyone
  • There’s no vaccination to being socially vulnerable - if you become socially invulnerable it makes you a nasty person - it diminishes your ability to connect with others and takes away your ability to feel empathy and anxiety for others. 
  • Be completely real with your self, and with others, as it can help build more genuine connections 
  • Trying to manage your own behavior and body language really starts to suck up alot of your own “CPU power” and Chase doesn't recommend it 
  • How you can watch a video of an interview or interrogation - using this special tool - and decode the behavior and determine 
  • Why a polygraph is usually no better than a coin toss and is typically biased against people telling the truth
  • How Conan Obrien can help you become a better human lie detector
  • Simple exercises you can use to start RIGHT NOW to develop an understanding of human body language and behavior 
  • The concept of embedded commands and how you can use them to make a person have a thought without it being conscious of it
  • Confusion statements and embedded commands - they will go straight to the subconscious
  • Why you should ask yourself "What does this person like to be complimented on, what makes them feel significant”
  • And much more! 
How This Government Agency Spy Recruiter Hacked Psychology To Change Anyone’s Behavior with Robin Dreeke

How This Government Agency Spy Recruiter Hacked Psychology To Change Anyone’s Behavior with Robin Dreeke

September 28, 2017
How this FBI spy recruiter hacked evolutionary psychology to learn to change anyone’s behavior, 5 steps for “strategizing” trust, how to get someone’s brain to reward them for engaging with you, the vital importance of self awareness, the power of not keeping score, and much more with Robin Dreeke. 
Robin began his career in law enforcement in 1997 after serving in the United States Marine Corp. Robin has directed the behavior analysis program of a federal law enforcement agency and has received training and operational experience in social psychology and the science of relationship management. Robin is currently an agent of the FBI and the author of “It’s Not All About “Me”” and the upcoming book The Code of Trust.
  • How Robin went from being a hard charging type-a individual to learning the principles of actually inspiring people and changing behavior
  • Robin’s main job was to recruit spies
  • How manipulating, pressuring, bullying people doesn’t work - and why learning that lessons in counter-intelligence is one of the most powerful places to learn the lesson
  • The Art Form of Inspirating Anyone and Getting them to do what you want
  • The New Car Effect - and what that has to do with influencing and inspiring anyone
  • "Strategizing Trust" - the five steps of trust 
  • How the old conception of leadership is flawed and ineffective
  • How being hard charging, type-a, and in your face is backwards from what you need to be successful
  • How the crucible of counter-intelligence doesn’t afford you the luxury of making mistakes - and the strategies that come out of that for influencing others
  • When people don’t have to talk to you and don’t care about your title and position - you have to find the strategies that work
  • The vital importance of self awareness and honest self assessment
  • What you think you’re projecting to the world is often not what the world is seeing
  • How ego, vanity, and insecurities can hijack what you say and do
  • Listen to the people around you, take feedback, and learn how you can change
  • How strategies of inspiration and influence focus almost exclusively on the other person
  • Focus on other people, what their priorities are, and what’s important to them - that’s how you can change their behavior and influence them
  • Why should someone want to talk to you, listen to you, and do what you want?
  • Think in terms of inspiring other people, not manipulating them
  • You have to know what someone’s priorities are, and you have to speak about things in relation to their priorities
  • How seeking other people's thoughts and opinions can help you neurobiologically build trust with them
  • Leaders don’t keep scorecards. Give and let go. And wait. 
  • When you honor the healthy and happy relationships - everything falls into place and flows very easily
  • How to get someone’s brain to reward them for engaging with you
  • Honesty is one of the critical factors 
  • Why you shouldn’t convince, cajole, and manipulate people
  • How the FBI spy recruits hacked evolutionary psychology to learn to change anyone’s behavior
  • What is manipulation? 
  • How the use of lies and deception can destroy trust forever
  • Why it’s important to understand that Robin is not judging the right or wrong of any of these strategies - its just a question of what’s the most effective
  • It cost nothing to make it about other people and its one of the simplest strategies in the world - and can have a huge impact on your ability to influence and inspire 
  • Become an available resource for other people’s prosperity
  • How we can become non-judgemental and cultivate nonjudgemental validation
  • Don’t judge, but seek to understand - everyone has a reason that they believe what they believe in 
  • When you dig in, you start getting context for someone’s understanding of reality, and that helps build tolerance
  • You are the cause of most of the negative interactions in your life
  • Most people do not care what’s important to you - they care about their own priorities
  • How to recognize and prevent yourself from getting emotionally hijacked
  • The core principles of the code of trust
  • Great leaders are very empathetic and focused on OTHER people
  • Why Robin doesn’t give advice or guidance, he only asks discovery questions
  • The 5 principles of trust
    • Suspend your ego
    • Be nonjudgemental
    • Honor Reason
    • Validate Others
    • Be Generous
  • The CORE of the Code
    • Happy healthy relationships
    • open honest communication
    • available resource for the prosperity of others
  • Why should discover the GREATNESS of others - don’t focus on what people are doing wrong, focus on their greatness and what they are doing RIGHT
  • How to make relationships bloom - find out what other people’s priorities are, their needs, wants, aspirations and dreams.
Do You Have To Be Ruthless To Succeed? The Truth About Survival Of The Fittest with Dr. Chris Kukk

Do You Have To Be Ruthless To Succeed? The Truth About Survival Of The Fittest with Dr. Chris Kukk

September 21, 2017
In this episode we ask "do you have to be ruthless to succeed?”, we examine how compassion is powerfully linked with success, we discuss the essential task of challenging your own world view and seeking evidence you disagree with, learn how to ask great questions, and much more with Dr. Chris Kukk. 
Dr. Chris Kukk is a former counter intelligence agent, now a professor of Political and Social Science at Western Connecticut State University. He is the founding Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity, and Innovation. He is the author of the newly released book The Compassionate Achiever and has been featured on NPR, NBC, The Economist, and more
  • Social and emotional learning and how Chris is using that to transform early childhood education
  • How positivity and compassion can spread from the bottom up to change schools
  • The neuroscience behind how compassion helps children learn more effectively
  • Why cultivating personal awareness is the first step to mastery
  • With meditation you catch more than you miss, without it, you miss more than you catch
  • What did Charles Darwin have to say about how compassion impacts the “survival of the fittest”
  • How a focus on helping one another moves society forward
  • Why the conception of compassion as “soft” or “weak” is completely wrong
  • How compassion is powerfully linked with success
  • Mother Theresa’s “Ripple of Kindness” 
  • Do you have to be ruthless in order to succeed?
  • Compassion enables you to have sustained success
  • Lessons from Enron
  • What psychology and neuroscience studies show about extrinsic focus vs intrinsic focus on your achievement
  • How Utah has saved money by pursuing a policy of compassion in solving homelessness
  • The “4 step program” for cultivating compassion that you can start implementing right now
  • The power of “LUCA”
  • The power of listening to learn instead of listening to reply
  • The definition of compassion - understanding and taking action
  • How we can “understand to know” and build a deeper mosaic of understanding to find common solutions to our problems
  • Connecting to capabilities, reaching beyond yourself to help people with the human potential hidden in plain sight
  • The essential task of challenging your own world view and seeking disconfirming evidence 
  • All feedback makes you stronger, ideology fears the truth, wisdom seeks it 
  • The buddhist concept of “fierce compassion”
  • Remember, water cuts through rock over time
  • What are “knownaughts” and “noxxers”?
  • The power of connection to make your success limitless
  • How do we ask great questions (and why its so important to do that)?
  • The great question is like the lens of a camera, the aperture shapes what you see on the other side
  • The words that you use frame the way you see a problem
  • How silence can open up doorways for deeper understanding
  • Lessons from counter intelligence interrogations about how we can become better listeners
  • The power of "nondoing"
  • Practical steps you can implement right now to begin walking the path of compassion
Break Your Phone Addiction (& Your Other Bad Habits) With Charles Duhigg

Break Your Phone Addiction (& Your Other Bad Habits) With Charles Duhigg

September 14, 2017
In this episode we discuss habit loops, how they form, and what they are, we look at why you can’t stop picking up your phone (I know that’s definitely a challenge for me), the habits and routines that research shows are most correlated with success, how to bake mental models into your brain, and much more with Charles Duhigg.
Charles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and senior editor at The New York Times. Charles is the author of “The Power of Habit,” which spent over two years on the New York Times best-seller list, and more recently “Smarter Faster Better,” also a New York Times best seller. Charles graduated from Yale University, Harvard Business School and has been featured in This American Life, N.P.R, Frontline, and much more.
We discuss:
  • Habit Loops, what they are and how they form
  • 40-45% of what we do every single day is not a decision it's a habit
  • Emotional cue for checking your phone and "novelty seeking"
  • How your brain makes that behavior automatic because it's delivering a reward
  • How to break habits
  • What Reward are you seeking? Get as specific as possible
  • Figure out the REWARD, then reprogram the HABIT
  • Keystone habits and how they can transform your identity and create a chain reaction
  • Why it's that the most successful people work harder, they just think differently
  • The rituals and habits of people who are more productive
  • Why its not being smarter, its not working harder, its not going to the right schools - the research shows that what correlates the MOST with success is that the people who are most successful tend to have “contemplative routines”, habits in their lives that push them to think more deeply
  • Journaling is a great example of a contemplative routine that can make you be more productive
  • Being busy and being productive are not synonymous
  • Thinking has always been the killer "productivity app"
  • The story of Quantas Flight 32
  • Maintaining focus while in the middle of a crashing airplane and how to cultivate situational awareness
  • How Firefighters develop ESP
  • Building a story, a mental model of a situation, and how that can shape your situational awareness
  • The vital importance of building mental models
How You Can CRUSH Self Sabotage with Dr. Gay Hendricks

How You Can CRUSH Self Sabotage with Dr. Gay Hendricks

September 7, 2017
In this episode we discuss how you can fall into cycles of self sabotage and constantly reset your happiness down to where you think it should be, lessons learned from coaching over 20,000 people, how to crush upper limit problems and break through the beliefs holding you back, the questions you need to discover and live in your zone of genius, and much more with Dr. Gay Hendricks. 
Dr. Gay Hendricks is the president of the Hendricks Institute, he earned his Ph.D in counselling psychology from Stanford and taught at the university of Colorado for 21 years and conducted seminars across the globe. He is also a multi bestselling author, having written more than 40 books and his work has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Oprah, and more.
We discuss:
  • Gay’s "encounter with destiny" and how it “knocked him out” of his usual way of thinking
  • Lessons from training thousands of counselors and coaches to help people transform their lives
  • Lessons from counseling and coaching over 20,000 individuals!
  • How Gay went from 300+ lbs, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes per day, and transformed his entire life
  • The two “big ideas” from the Big Leap
    • Upper Limit Problems
    • Occupying your Zone of Genius
  • What are "Upper Limit Problems?"
  • How to Occupying your “Zone of Genius"
  • Success is not just financial - focusing only on financial success puts your out of balance
  • Often times its not the lack of business skills that stifle us, its lack of heart centric communication skills
  • If you’re able to bring forth what is within you, it will pave the path to success - but if you keep your emotions in, you stifle yourself
  • How a tiny bit of misalignment can create echos and rattles throughout your life
  • How we fall into cycles of self sabotage to “reset” our happiness down to where we think it should be
  • We often manufacture fears, stresses, and anxieties to stop ourselves from feeling good
  • The core fears you experience underpinning that Upper Limit Problem
  • #1 The Fear of Outshining
  • #2 The Fear of Being Fundamentally Flawed
  • Upper limit problems are rooted in fear - unless we come to terms with those - we cannot actualize our full potential
  • How to explore, lovingly, your own fears and limitations
  • The concept of having enough vs having plenty 
  • #3 The Fear of Leaving Behind or being disloyal to the people you care about
  • Do you ever feel like “things are going too well, now something bad is going to happen”
  • Focusing on what can go wrong is useful if we TAKE ACTION about it, but if we can’t act on it, its just useless worrying
  • The “quick fix” for blame and criticism - get underneath the blame, own what you’re afraid of that is causing that blame and talk about it openly and honestly 
  • How to fix broken relationships and heal communication problems in 10 minutes or less
  • Self criticism is rooted in FEAR - something you’re afraid of in yourself, or something your afraid to communicate to someone else - what is it that im basically afraid of?
  • The role shame plays in self criticism and how to find your original shaming
  • Is Life Suffering as the Buddha said?
  • Can honesty (with ourselves and our relationships) reduce suffering?
  • Begin an open hearted, open mind inquiry into what you really want
  • Ultimate success mantra - I expand in love, abundance, creativity, and success every day as I inspire other people to expand in love, abundance, success, and creativity! 
  • The idea of happiness thermostat
  • Shine in your life the way you want to shine, not in reference to other people
  • Human beings have no idea what their full potential is once they shatter their upper limits
  • Using a Lear Jet to plow a potato field
  • The Zone of Incompetence vs The Zone competence vs the Zone of Excellence vs the Zone of Genius
  • The questions you need to discover and live in your zone of genius
  • Even the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have blocks to their zones of genius
  • “All of human beings problems come from an inability to sit in a room by ourselves doing nothing”
  • Your zone of genius is a positive addiction - focused on actualizing your life’s purpose 
  • How to get out negative addictions like worrying and overeating
  • The success mantra you can use to push yourself into your zone of genius every day
  • And much more!
How You Can Come Alive And Unleash Your Brilliance with Simon T. Bailey

How You Can Come Alive And Unleash Your Brilliance with Simon T. Bailey

August 31, 2017
In this episode we look at why your definition of success might be hurting you - and how you can redefine it in a much healthier way, examine the power of intellectual humility, talk about what it means to provide value and how to do it, we go deep into the power of listening, why its so important, and discuss 3 strategies you can use to become a better listener, we explore the concept of brilliance as well as how you can unlock your own brilliance in 30 seconds, and much more with Simon T. Bailey.
Simon T. Bailey is the CEO of Simon T. Bailey International an education company that specializes in creating learning and development content for individuals and organizations. Simon is a hall of fame keynote speaker and is one of the top 10 most booked corporate speakers on Leadership, Change, and Customer Experience and will be the emcee at the upcoming SUCCESS Live Event in September!
  • Why your definition of success might be hurting you - and how you can redefine it in a much healthier way. 
  • Why success is about others and not just yourself
  • Intellectual humility and why it’s so important 
  • Questions to put yourself on the path towards true success:
    • What would I do if I knew that I couldn't fail?
    • What would I do if no one paid me to do it?
    • What makes me come alive?
  • Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive - the world needs people who come alive
  • When you stop chasing money, money will chase you.
  • How to create an “exit strategy” to test your ideas and pursue your dreams
  • Can (and should) you quit your job and play videos games all day?
  • We are now in a recommendation economy - people will tell other people if you are excellent
  • What it means to provide value to the world and how you can do it:
    • Going above and beyond, exceeding expectations, doing more than people expect of you
    • Listen and discover ways to exceed expectations
  • Meta Listening and why you should often slow down in order to speed up
  • Hearing is a courtesy, listening is a compliment 
  • The 3 levels of listening & Why listening shows the person that they matter
  • Why it’s not good to “need to be the smartest person in the room”
  • Why needing to prove something can be one of your greatest mistakes
  • People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care
  • How to practice intellectual humility
    • Release the need to be right
    • Understand the power of diversity of opinion & perspective
    • Find someone who is willing to say no and challenge your ideas
  • How to step outside your comfort zone and seek disconfirming opinions
  • 3 Exercises you can use to step outside your comfort zone
  • Simon’s strategy for reaching 1 billion people around the globe
  • Brilliance - what it is, why its important - and what Harvard research says about it 
  • How society has eroded our innate brilliance 
  • Within the next decade millions of knowledge worker jobs will be eliminated due to automation
  • How you can unlock your own brilliance in 30 seconds
  • There will never be a perfect time for you to do it, just do it
  • The concept of emotional congruence
  • Language is the software of the mind - your words carry energy and create worlds
  • How to rehearse the future in the present
  • "15-7-30-90"
  • You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future
  • Answer the question “WHY AM I HERE?”
  • Do you have a 20 year strategic life plan?
The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong with Eric Barker

The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong with Eric Barker

August 24, 2017
In this episode we ask what really produces success by looking at what separates truly successful people from the rest, we examine many common and conflicting “success maxims” and look at what the data actually says really works, we dig deep into the vital importance of knowing yourself and your own strengths, look at the power of aligning your work with your environment, and discuss the dangers of constantly overcommitting your time with Eric Barker.
Eric Barker is the creator of the blog “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” - with over 290,000 subscribers.  His work is syndicated by Time Magazine, Business Insider and he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and more. Just recently, his new book Barking up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong was named a Wall Street Journal Bestseller.
  • The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed
  • How Eric took a myth-busters approach to success maxims and figured out what really works
  • Vital importance of knowing yourself and your strengths
  • Why you need to align with a context and environment that rewards your skills
  • What really produces success? What separates the very successful from the rest of us?
  • We take a lot of the common maxims we hear that conflict about success and look at what the DATA actually says about them
  • What are intensifiers and why should you know about them?
  • When are negatives positives? How can you know when it’s important?
  • Context really reveals when and how these maxims work or not
  • Do nice guys really finish last? What does the science say?
  • Why, in some contexts, being a jerk can pay off (and when it can backfire)
  • Strategies to improve self knowledge and know yourself more deeply
  • Pursuing your passion doesn't always lead to happiness, but pursuing what you’re good at more frequently does lead to happiness
  • Research is clear - focus on what you’re good at - and find a way to compensate for your weaknesses. 
  • Understanding your strengths allows you to plan the right way to go about achieving your big picture goals
  • Deluding yourself is often worst situation of all and you frequently end up working against yourself
  • Do quitters never win? Should we quit or persevere? How do we think about Grit?
  • The vital importance of opportunity cost - we only have so much time in the day - we have to focus in on the biggest things
  • Strategically quitting is not the opposite of grit, but enables you to focus in on the most important things
  • People consistently over-commit their time and don’t understand how little time they have
  • We consistently make the error that in the future we think we will have more time
  • Find a balance - look at what’s producing results - show grit with those things - things that aren’t producing results
  • Why you should absolutely dedicate 5-10% of your time to what Peter Simms calls “little bets”
  • The key litmus test on whether or not you should apply GRIT or QUIT
  • What research reveals (Richard Wiseman in the UK) on how you can improve your luck!
  • How do we “walk the tightrope” between confidence and delusion? How often should we “believe in ourselves”?
  • Confidence as a whole is a problematic paradigm, confidence follows success, it doesn’t lead to success - it has NO effect on outcomes, only impact on trying to build confidence is that it increases narcissism 
  • Confidence is often either delusional (detached from reality) or contingent (which can crash your self esteem)
  • Self compassion provides all the benefits of self confidence with none of the drawbacks
  • How to change the way you talk to yourself and cultivate self compassion
  • The simplest and easiest cure for the “plague” of procrastination you can use right now!
  • The more you work, if you’re actually doing deliberate practice, the better you do
  • What’s more important HUSTLE or work life balance?
  • There is an, essentially linear, relationship between time and skill development
  • 10,000 hours alone is proof of nothing - its all about deliberate practice - our current understanding of skill development is grossly oversimplified
  • Difference between obsession and passion?
  • In living a truly successful life - relationships, alignment, and fulfillment are essential
  • And much more!
How To Demolish What’s Holding You Back & Leave Your Comfort Zone with Andy Molinsky

How To Demolish What’s Holding You Back & Leave Your Comfort Zone with Andy Molinsky

August 17, 2017
In this episode we discuss why people struggle to reach outside their comfort zones – and why it’s so critically important that you do, we explore the 5 core psychological road blocks stopping people from stepping outside their comfort zones, we go deep on how you can become tougher, more resilient, and embrace discomfort, how you can master the art of small talk, what you need to do to cultivate the skill of “global dexterity” and much more with Dr. Andy Molinksy.
Dr. Andy Molinsky is a professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at Brandeis University. Andy is the author of Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence, as well as Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process. He has been featured in Inc., Psychology Today, The Harvard Business Review, and was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices for 2016.
We discuss:
  • Lessons from interviews with students, teachers, police officers, rabbis, priests, entrepreneurs, goat farmers - and the common lessons of WHY people struggle to step outside their comfort zones
  • Why do people struggle to reach outside their comfort zones?
  • The vital importance of stepping outside your comfort zone
  • The 5 core psychological road blocks / challenges that make it hard to step outside our comfort zones
    • Authenticity/Identity/Self image
    • Likability
    • Competence
    • Resentment
    • Morality
  • Imposter Syndrome and how it can trap you in your comfort zone
  • Our “amazing capacity” to avoid discomfort and seek relief
  • What happens when people avoid uncomfortable situations
  • How we can often create imperfect substitutions for situations we want to avoid
  • How our minds rationalize excuses so that we can avoid uncomfortable things
  • “Fear is about predicting the future” and we are often poor predictors of our own futures
  • If you want to achieve your goals you usually have to step outside your comfort zone
  • Specific tactics and strategies you can use to step outside of your comfort zone
  • How conviction can help you step outside your comfort zone and push you
  • Customizing and tweaking situations to make them slightly more bearable can help you take that first step
  • The danger of “catastrophizing” and always assuming the worst case scenario
  • The power of clarity and getting clear on the truth about what you want, and what the worst case scenarios are
  • How we can build resilience and make the pursuit of discomfort stick
  • The power of a learning orientation and growth mindset to give you the ability to step outside your comfort zone
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone starts in your mind
  • The power of desensitizing yourself to things outside your comfort zone, and what happens when you continue to have experiences outside your comfort zone
  • How to deliver bad news to people, fire someone, and have tough conversations
  • The dysfunctional conversations that might arise if you don’t know the right way to deliver bad news
  • The vital importance of mastering the art of small talk & strategies for mastering small talk
  • Why every meaningful relationship you’ve ever had (other than family) started with small talk
  • Focus first on building camaraderie and rapport, then trust
  • Listening, making connection, asking questions in an open ended way
  • Developing global dexterity and learning to act outside of your cultural comfort zone
Simple Strategies You Can Use To  Persuade Anyone with The Godfather of Influence Dr. Robert Cialdini

Simple Strategies You Can Use To Persuade Anyone with The Godfather of Influence Dr. Robert Cialdini

August 10, 2017
In this episode we discuss an old trick palm readers use that you can leverage to get people to do what you want, why persuasion does not lie just in the message itself, but rather in how the message is presented, what the research reveals about why the context matters as much, if not more, than the content itself, why you shouldn’t ask people for their opinion but instead ask someone for their advice, how small differences that seem trivial make a HUGE impact on human behavior, and much more with Dr. Robert Cialdini.
Dr. Robert Cialdini is the president and CEO of Influence at works. He is the multi best selling author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and his latest book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way To Influence and Persuade and he is currently a regions professor eremites of psychology and marketing at the Arizona State University . Commonly referred to as “The Godfather Of Influence” Robert’s work has been featured around the world with clients such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, The Department of Justice, and more.
We discuss:
  • Research reveals that getting you to pay attention to something doesn't just reveal who you are, it makes you who you are
  • How small differences that seem trivial make a HUGE impact on human behavior
  • Why most people don't’ recognize the subconscious priming of pre-suasion
  • Lessons from Dr. Cialdini's time as an amateur palm reader
  • How researchers boosted their response rate from 29% to 77.3% with one simple question
  • Can a photo change your ability to solve problems more effectively?
  • How you can create a state of mind in your recipient that is consistent with the message you’re about to give
  • How getting people to reflect on a particular trait that they might have can prime them to respond to what you want them to do
  • How you can get people to think of themselves as whatever you want them to be
  • This one trick palm readers use that you can leverage to get people to do what you want
  • Persuasion does not lie just in the message itself, but rather in how the message is presented
  • "Tell me what you’re paying attention to, and I'll tell you who you are"
  • Does it matter what store you’re standing in front of if you ask a woman for her number at the mall?
  • Why Pre-suasion is "a dangerous stick of dynamite"
  • The medium is the message, the messenger is the message, and the multitude is the message - the true power of authority and social proof
  • What does the United Kingdom’s tax policy have to do with creating more influential communication
  • Learning what most others are doing is a message itself
  • Context matters as much as or more than content
  • How can you ethically leverage the concepts of persuasion?
  • One thing you can do to hack job interviews using this simple tactic
  • Why you shouldn’t ask people for their opinion but instead ask someone for their advice
  • Why its better to ask for $75,123.00 than $75,000.
  • Ask yourself “What is it about my message that will make it most wise for people to say yes to it”
  • Is it possible to use pre-suasion on ourselves?
  • How changing a simple image can improve your ability to solve problems by more than 48%
  • The best thing you can do to prime someone for change (the simple easy thing you can to do to get people to change)
  • And much more! 
Can You Have It All In Career and Life? Learn the Secrets of Multipotentialites with Emlie Wapnick

Can You Have It All In Career and Life? Learn the Secrets of Multipotentialites with Emlie Wapnick

August 3, 2017
In this episode we discuss what to do if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, we look at the concept that you only have one true calling, we learn how to become a better big picture thinkers, we look at the superpowers you can develop by being a “multi-potential-ite,” how to master rapid learning and cultivate beginners mind, the fallacy behind the phrase “jack of all trades,” and much more with Emilie Wapnick.
Emilie is a speaker, career coach, founder of the popular blog Puttylike, and author of the book How To Be Everything: A Guide for those who still don't know what they want to be when they grow up. Her TED talk has been 3.7 million times and translated into over 36 languages. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Lifehacker, and more.
  • How Emilie’s diverse interests and passions lead her down the path of creating a community of people who wanted to do more than just focus on one thing in their lives
  • What does it mean to be “puttylike”
  • Who are Multi-potential-ites and what makes them so interesting and powerful?
  • Do you have a destiny, one true calling?
  • How the industrial revolution shaped our language and understanding of “what you do” being who you are (and why that’s wrong)
  • The idea that there is one specific thing you should master is a socially reinforced illusion & narrative
  • Do you have to focus on one thing to be able to be successful?
  • The assumption that you can either be a master of one thing or a jack of all trades is fundamentally flawed
  • There are nonlinear and multi-connected and multi-faceted domains of knowledge that multi-potential-ites thrive in
  • The diminishing returns and 80/20 principle behind mastering knowledge in different domains
  • The Superpowers of Multipotentialites
    • Idea Synthesis
    • Rapid Learning (and passion)
      • Adaptability
    • Big Picture Thinking
    • Relating and translating
  • How to cultivate the ability to be a better big picture thinker
  • Pattern recognition underpins many of these super-powers
  • How to master rapid learning and cultivate beginners mind
  • The power of exploring other fields and domains and how that can bring back new knowledge to the field you’re an expert in
  • The 4 common approaches that multi-potentialites use to succeed financially in today’s world
    • The “group hug” approach - combining all your interests into one thing
    • The “slash” approach - creating separate and distinct revenue streams that you focus on fractionally
    • The “Einstein” approach - find a job that supports your true passion
    • The “Phoenix” approach - diving deep into a field, then pivoting out into something completely else
  • What you do for money isn’t necessarily more valuable than the other things you do in your life
  • Failure Celebration Week and taking the stigma away from failure
  • If you had 10 lives what would you want to be in each of them?
  • How to cultivate the variety you need in your life and career
  • The importance of getting everything out of your head and onto paper
  • And much more! 
Discover Your Hidden Emotional Insights & What’s Truly Valuable To You with Dr. Susan David

Discover Your Hidden Emotional Insights & What’s Truly Valuable To You with Dr. Susan David

July 27, 2017
In this episode we discuss emotional agility and how you can cultivate it, discover that beneath your difficult emotions are the signposts to the things you value most, learn how to make space for emotions and embrace a willingness to experience difficult emotions, talk about why its vital to understand the distinction that emotions are meaningful but not always correct, how you can “piggyback” your habits to create very powerful strategies to live more aligned with your values and more with Dr. Susan David.
Dr. Susan David is an award winning Psychologist at Harvard Medical School, co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology. She is the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Emotional Agility and has had her work featured in several publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME magazine. Susan’s work and research have led to her consulting and working with several top organizations including the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum, and much more!
  • How Susan’s experience growing up in apartheid South Africa led her down the path of studying emotional resilience and agility
  • The tyranny of positivity and how it can actually harm us
  • How focusing too much on your happiness can make you less happy over time
  • How surpassing your emotions increases depression and anxiety and decreases your chance at achieving your goals
  • Beneath your difficult emotions are signposts to the things we value most
  • Research psychology reveals the power of the “amplification effect” when we push our thoughts and emotions aside
  • Emotional contagion and how the behavior of others - even people you’ve never met and who are far removed from your life, can have a huge impact on your behavior and your life
  • If someone in your social network - even if you don’t know them - puts on weight or gets divorced, you are more likely to do those things!
  • Between stimulus and response, there is a space, in that space is our opportunity for agency
  • What happens when you bottle and brood on your emotions
  • Who’s in charge, the thinker or the thought? Who’s in charge, the emotion or the person feeling them? This story, or you the person who can experience many stories?
  • What is emotional agility? How can we cultivate it?
  • How to make space for emotions and embrace a willingness to experience difficult emotions
  • Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility
  • Our emotions are not good are bad, they just “are”
  • Strategies for developing self compassion
  • Imagine yourself as a child approaching yourself as an adult - how would you treat that 3-4 year old who has failed, been rejected, struggled, etc?
  • We are all trying to do the best we can with the resources we have in an imperfect world - expecting perfection from yourself when the world itself is imperfect is unrealistic 
  • Emotions are meaningful, but not RIGHT (emotions are DATA not direction)
  • Its critical to cultivate space between stimulus and response
  • Emotions are important but they aren’t necessarily correct - tap into the wisdom they offer us, but don’t necessarily go in the direction they want us to go in
  • The vital importance of cultivating an “observer” view of our emotions to help us step out from our emotional reactions and create space between stimulus and response 
  • Why you should use language like “I am noticing that I am feeling X” and “I am noticing the emotion of fear”
  • Accurately labeling your emotions, digging in beyond just the surface, taps into and helps deal with negative emotions - the field of emotional differentiation
  • If I was asking the wisest person on the world for their advice on this issue - what would they say?
  • Every day we get to make a choice - do we move towards our values or away from our values?
  • Values are qualities of action and they protect us from social contagion
  • How do we discover our values?
  • “What did I do that was worthwhile?”
  • How you can “piggyback” your habits to create very powerful strategies to live more aligned with your values
  • Root out and destroy “Have To” language in your life  
  • 4 Simple strategies you can use right away to become emotionally agile
A Powerful 2000 Year Old Life Hack & Creating Work That Lasts for Generations with Ryan Holiday

A Powerful 2000 Year Old Life Hack & Creating Work That Lasts for Generations with Ryan Holiday

July 20, 2017
In this episode we discuss how our perception of reality dramatically shifts what actions we take, why you should embrace 2000+ years of wisdom to be happier and more productive, how to stop judging yourself and others based on your achievements and root your identity in something within your control, we look at how we can cultivate a more humble and resilient world view, discuss strategies for connecting with top tier mentors, and much more with Ryan Holiday. 
Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and writer. He is the bestselling author of over five books including The Obstacle is the Way, Ego is The Enemy, and most recently his upcoming book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts. Ryan previously worked as the director of marketing for American Apparel, working on several controversial campaigns,  before starting his own creative agency. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, and more!
  • Why you should understand the Stoic discipline of "perception"
  • The way in which we see the world changes how we interact with it
  • How to accept situations as they are, not as you want them to be
  • Why you shouldn't waste time figuring out how things happened, who is to blame, etc - you should shift your focus to constructively determining the next thing to do
  • “There’s no problem so bad (in space) that you can’t make it worse”
  • The challenge of perception is not making the situations in your life worse with interpretations, resentments, anxieties 
  • The story of Amelia Earhart and how you can use it to take action in the face of challenges
  • When you’re offended, when you think something is beneath you, you are projecting onto that situation something that may not be there
  • How do you react when people don’t think you have what it takes?
  • How to make yourself the most important person in a room, not by posturing, but by what you can contribute
  • How we can flip obstacles on their heads and view setbacks as opportunities
  • “What stands in the way becomes the way”
  • We have the ability with our minds to change how anything means 
  • Setbacks make some people worse, some people tough it out, other people get even better
  • What is “Stoic Optimism” and why stoicism is not a focus on the negative
  • The distinction between Being and Doing and why its so critical
  • Should you do the “right thing” even if it pisses people off, hurts your chances of being promoted, causes political infighting, and worse?
  • Many people make the choice unknowingly between being and doing - and end up one day wondering where it all went wrong
  • How do we untangle success from our identities?
  • How do we avoid the trap of judging people based on their achievements?
  • The importance of being able to measure yourself by an internal score card - and not the external score card of accomplishment and achievement
  • Focus on basing your identity on an internals scorecard that is within your control
  • Decide what’s important to you, and root it within the things you control
  • How do we anchor our identity and self worth on a more stable footing?
  • How to have a more humble and resilient worldview
  • The critical difference between stoicism vs pessimism and how to look at both sides of the coin and realizing there are no good or bad outcomes - just outcomes
  • Everything is relative and subjective - someone in the third world would kill to live the life you may think of as failure
  • The world isn’t saying “this is happening to you because its bad” its just saying “this is happening”
  • The hard work of stoicism is the practice of doing it every day
  • “The message is the marketing” and how you shouldn’t distinguish between the making and the marketing when creating something
  • Why Ryan writes so much about ancient philosophy and how you should focus on rooting your ideas in timeless principles
  • The tactics Ryan used to build a relationship with and become an apprentice of Robert Greene
  • The people who need mentoring the most often get the least mentoring
  • Do well and a mentor will find you, put in the work, show the potential, and then mentors will naturally start to show up in your life
  • How Ryan approaches the creative process and the strategy he uses to test new ideas
  • You have an idea, you test that idea, and you work on it every single day - it gets 1% better every day - and at the end it’s finally good
  • Every book should be an article before its a book, every article should be a dinner conversation before its an article
  • Most of the marketing of anything that lasts is really about the product itself
  • Strategies Ryan recommends for finding a market for our ideas or concepts 
  • Don’t create a solution in search of a problem, find problems and build solutions
  • How to uncover the problems that people are struggling with that you can help solve
  • What are needs that people have that there are currently no solutions?
  • How Ryan would start building an audience from scratch today if he had to start over
  • If you don’t collect your fans and have direct access to them - you are at risk - own your relationships with your customers and fans as much as possible
  • How Ryan deals with staying creative and productive with a new born child
  • Why Ryan hates the question of “whats the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome”
  • Time you spend dwelling on the past (negatively or positively) is wasted time and attention
  • What Ryan journals about every morning and how he implements stoic philosophy into his life
  • And much more!
The Principles You Can Use To Live An Authentic & Fulfilling Life with Jon Vroman

The Principles You Can Use To Live An Authentic & Fulfilling Life with Jon Vroman

July 13, 2017
In this episode we discuss the dangers of “playing it safe” in life, how we can learn to celebrate more, the power of cheering on, showing up, and serving other people, how to balance the acceptance of negative emotions with amplifying the good and focusing on the positive, what it means to live life in the “front row,” lessons learned about living life from people fighting for their lives, and much more with our guest Jon Vroman.
Jon is the co-founder of The Front Row Foundation, a charity that creates unforgettable moments for individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses. Jon teaches others to “Live Life In The Front Row” through teaching and inspiring others with the Art of Moment Making. He is also an award winning speaker, podcast host, and the bestselling author of his new book The Front Row Factor: Transform Your Life with The Art of Moment Making.
We discuss:
  • How John went from being bullied and feeling insignificant, to stepping up and living his life in the front row
  • How would you rate your contribution to the world on a 1-10 scale?
  • The dangers of “playing it safe” in life
  • What does it mean to live life in the front row?
  • The anticipation principle and how to bring the power of the future into the present moment
  • How we can learn to celebrate - bring light and attention to something, even if its something small
  • Celebration is appreciation and gratitude
  • How do you recognize or create a front row moment every day in life?
  • “What can I celebrate right now?”
  • If you can’t celebrate yourself, ask “How can I celebrate somebody else?”
  • Being in the front row is also about service, stepping up for people, and not always being the center of attention
  • The power of cheering on, showing up, and serving other people and why there is so much meaning, love, and joy in doing that
  • What does it mean to be a moment maker?
  • Recognizing the beauty and joy within a moment and noticing it, take a moment, breathe in, look around, feel it and appreciate it - recognizing what’s already there and not chasing what could be
  • Why you should ask “How can I make this special?”
  • How you can create special moments in the simplest spaces within life, turning something normal into something spectacular 
  • Why we should amplify the good so that we silence what’s not
  • The importance of accepting negative emotions and living the full range of emotions in life, the importance of being cold so you can appreciate the warmth
  • The 90% Rule - where do you want to “live” 90% of the time
  • How to re-align with what you value and live a life of making moments and celebration
  • The three things you need to live life in the front row
  • How to balance questions of acceptance/discomfrot/negative emotions with amplifying the good and focusing on the positive - focus on what state you end up at when you have the balance between those two things
  • "Proximity is power” - what thoughts, questions, and relationships are you close to that are shaping your life?
  • Questions drives our lives - what questions are we trying to answer?
  • What questions are running your mind? What different questions could be running your mind?
  • Everything we've learned about living life from people fighting for their lives
  • Life is made up of MOMENTS - how do we manage each of those moments
  • We think life will be great when we BLANK - once BLANK happens - this is NOW - this is IT - this is where its happening - managing your mind, managing the moment is the key to maximizing our lives.
  • Why I love the quote - "Alex, don’t let Mount Everest be your greatest achievement”
  • Hope is not weak, hope is not wishful thinking, hope is having a vision for the future and doing something about it 
  • How do I recognize or create a front row moment right now?
  • The best questions aren’t the ones that YOU want an answer to - its the ones that the OTHER PERSON wants an answer to
  • Why you should ask “What dream is making you come alive right now?”
  • If not you then who? If not now then when? 
  • The importance of self awareness and being honest with yourself 
  • Ask yourself what makes you come alive? Create an environment that makes you come alive
  • And much more!
Human Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, and the Uncertain Future of Cyber Warfare with WIRED’s Kevin Kelly

Human Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, and the Uncertain Future of Cyber Warfare with WIRED’s Kevin Kelly

July 6, 2017
In this episode we discuss the inevitable technology shifts that will be impacting our future, the second industrial revolution, the importance of having an open mind, critical thinking and seeking disconfirming evidence, we explore how to ask better questions (and why it’s so important that you do), and talk about some of the biggest technology risks with Kevin Kelly.
Kevin Kelly is the Senior Maverick and Co-Founder of Wired Magazine. Kevin is also the co-founder of The All Species Foundation, which seeks to catalogue and identify every living species on earth as well as The Rosetta Project, building an archive of ALL documented human language and much much more. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of several books including The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, his work has been featured in Forbes, Smithsonian, and more!
We discuss:
  • The 12 inevitable forces that are shaping the future of humanity and our lives
  • How the physics of the “technological” terrain make tectonic technological shifts INEVITABLE and what you can do about it
  • Why cars, telephones, light bulbs, and the internet were also “inevitable"
  • Evolution keeps trying to make “minds” - is AI the next attempt?
  • How we are “cognifying" the world around us and what that means
  • How we will fill the world with a zoo of possible minds that think differently
  • AI will become a commodity like electricity - it will be a utility that anyone can get or use
  • What can I do with 1000 minds (like 1000 horsepower) working on a problem
  • The second industrial revolution and how it will impact our entire society
  • How our lack of understanding of intelligence currently hinders our ability to truly understand what makes intelligence
  • You can’t optimize every dimension - there will always be trade-offs
  • How much of today’s technology is akin to “flapping wings” versus artificial flight using fixed wings
  • The chief asset for innovation and wealth generation in this new economy is being able to THINK differently
  • How do we focus our attention in a world with such infinite possibilities of things to do and focus on?
  • How do we battle against fake news, alternative facts, and the temptation to only filter information we want to hear?
  • In the future - we may have to teach the “literacy” of filtering and understanding information as Kevin calls it “techno literacy”or “critical thinking”
  • The vital importance of being open to having your mind changed - and how travel can be a tool to do that
  • Why you should allow yourself to be challenged by other views
  • Why asking great questions will be one of the most valuable skillsets and assets in the future
  • How we can start to ask better questions right now
  • There are no dumb questions - never be afraid to ask if you don’t understand  - and then really listen for the answer
  • Why we should use lateral thinking to approach a question or challenge from a completely different angle - how we ask a question that has never been asked before
  • How you can believe you are a martian and ask questions as if you were a machine and you didn’t know all the things humans normally know
  • Don’t be afraid of obvious questions
  • Why Kevin describes himself as a “protopian” - technology produces as many new problems as it solves. Progress is real even though technology creates additional problems
  • The technology trend that Kevin Kelly is most afraid of and thinks is the biggest risk to humanity
  • What would Kevin say to someone who doesn’t  think that these technological forces are inevitable?
  • Why AI is often defined as “that which we can’t do”
  • AI is going to impact all areas of our lives - buy some AI from google tensor flow and start fooling around with it - see what happens
  • Be a tinkerer - don’t be afraid to play with and try new technology
  • And much more!
The Shocking Truth About Talent & What It Means For You with Geoff Colvin

The Shocking Truth About Talent & What It Means For You with Geoff Colvin

June 29, 2017
In this episode we discuss the “experience trap” and why someone who has been doing their job for 20-30 years may be no better (and sometimes worse) than someone who has very little experience, look at the shocking truth that 35 years of research reveals separates world class performers from everyone else, how “Talent” is overrated, misunderstood, and most research says it doesn’t even exist, we go deep on the critically important concept of deliberate practice, and much more with our guest Geoff Colvin.  
Geoff Colvin is an award winning speaker, writer, and broadcaster. Geoff holds a degree in economics from Harvard, an MBA from NYU, and is currently the the senior editor-at-large for FORTUNE. He is the bestselling author of several books including Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers from Everyone Else, Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will and more. Geoff has delivered over 10,000 broadcasts on the CBS Radio Network and has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, and more.
  • The “experience trap” and why someone who has been doing their job for 20-30 years may be no better (and sometimes worse) than someone who has very little experience
  • What do surgeons, auditors, parole officers have in common with their skillsets?
  • Why the assumption that a lot of experience makes you good at something is fundamentally flawed 
  • What the very best performers are constantly doing that most people simply don’t do
  • Why going to a teacher and taking lessons is NOT enough to get better at singing (or any other skill)
  • What separates world class performers from everyone else
  • Why the concept of talent is a loaded term that most people don’t understand
  • Why the conception of “talent” as an in-born gift is a mischaracterization
  • How “Talent” is overrated, misunderstood, and why most research says “talent" simply does not exist
  • What 35 years of research and science answer exactly what explains great performance better than anything else
  • What is the concept of "deliberate practice" and why is it so vital to great performance?
  • The road to great performance is long and hard, but most importantly its available to anyone
  • Why deliberate practice is not what you typically think of when you think of practice
  • The key components of deliberate practice:
    • Deliberate practice is an activity designed especially for you, at your stage of development, at doing what you’re doing right now
    • It is designed to push you just beyond what you’re currently capable of doing
    • Can be repeated at high volume
    • The vital importance of continual feedback
  • Why high-volume deliberate practice changes the physical structure of your brain
  • As you get better, your deliberate practice must be adjusted higher
  • Why deliberate practice is neither work nor play
  • The vital importance of training and practicing just outside your realm of ability
  • How to harness deliberate practice for business & investing
    • Simulation
    • Software that lets you make these decisions at high volume
    • Create simulators that put these decisions to the test at high volume
    • These simulations have to be highly realistic and very demanding
  • How a basketball team has used the lessons of deliberate practice to achieve over 100 consecutive wins
  • “The real game is easy compared to the practice” - Practice harder than you play!
  • The Battle of 73 Easting and how the military leveraged deliberate practice to win one of the most decisive tactical victories in the modern era
  • Try to find practice “in the activity” itself when you can
  • Deliberate practice is way more work than most people are accustomed to doing, but the payoff is nearly always worth it
  • How do you reconcile the advice of “focusing on your strengths” with the fundamental conclusions of deliberate practice?
  • How do humans become and maintain economic value as robotics, software, and technology continues to replace human workers?
  • The skills of deep human interactions are some of the most high value skills in the future workplace
  • The value and importance of sensing what other humans are thinking and feeling and responding in an appropriate way
  • Why human interaction, empathy, collaboration, storytelling will become more and more important
  • Emotional intelligence is a trainable skills that can be improved
  • EQ and Emotional Intelligence is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy
Master The Universal Skills To Become Awesome At Any Job And Succeed At Your Work with Pete Mockaitis

Master The Universal Skills To Become Awesome At Any Job And Succeed At Your Work with Pete Mockaitis

June 22, 2017
In this episode we discuss how to master the universal skills required to succeed at work, the counter-intuitive truth of taking more responsibility for your own mistakes, flaws, and screw-ups can help you succeed more quickly, we look at how to cultivate and create accountability in your life, challenge yourself to rise to a higher level, and become more vulnerable, we talk about the Benjamin Franklin effect, and much more with Pete Mockaitis.
Pete Mockaitis is an award-winning trainer focusing primarily on helping professionals perform optimally at work. He’s delivered 1-on-1 coaching to over 700 clients across 50 countries, and every Ivy League school. He currently hosts the How to be Awesome at your Job podcast which has listeners in over 150 countries and has been ranked as a top 5 career podcast on iTunes.
We discuss:
  • The importance of reading to improving your knowledge
  • The book that has had the biggest impact on Pete’s life
  • How you can transform yourself into “peak state” so that you don’t feel scared or unmotivated
  • How to master the universal skills required to succeed at work
  • Grit - what it is, why its so important, and how you can cultivate
  • The concept that had the biggest impact on Pete’s life
  • Why its so important to take a hard look at yourself and your own shortcomings
  • What to do when your paralyzed by fear in your job
  • Why Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear
  • How to be a more effective communicator
  • “Answer first communication” and how it can transform how you speak and present
  • How “hypothesis driven testing” can make you a much better communicator
  • Why you should ask: “What things need to be true for this to be a good idea”
  • Numbers galvanize attention and focus for people listening to you
  • If you’re stressed out in your current role, you’re not ready to make the next move up
  • “The time to meet your neighbors is not when your house is on fire”
  • How to cultivate and develop better relationships
  • The power of making the ask and "ask not, have not”
  • The Benjamin Franklin Effect and how it can help you build a powerful network of mentors
  • You can achieve whatever you want in life, if you help enough other people achieve what they want in life
  • How to be courageous
  • How to ask for good feedback and how to give feedback
  • Ask for role models and ideal next steps when asking for feedback
  • Why you should never be afraid to ask for feedback and counterintuitively how demonstrating your weakensses can help you advance in your career
  • The counter intuitive truth of taking MORE responsibility for your own mistakes, flaws, and screw-ups can help you succeed more quickly
  • How to cultivate and create accountability in your life, challenge yourself to rise to a higher level, and become more vulnerable
  • What you should do when your unsatisfied with your career
The Mental Tools Olympians, Traders, & Top Performers Use To Make High Pressure Decisions with Denise Shull

The Mental Tools Olympians, Traders, & Top Performers Use To Make High Pressure Decisions with Denise Shull

June 15, 2017
In this episode we ask can, and should, we set aside our emotions to make decisions in huge, high stakes environments (like trading)? How to channel and listen to your emotions to make even better decisions, learning from negative emotions, how historical echoes in our life create repeated behavior patterns, and much more with Denise Shull. 
Denise Shull is a decision coach, performance architect, and founder of the Re-Think Group. She utilizes psychological science to solve the issues of mental mistakes, confidence crises, and slumps in Olympic Athletes and Wall Street Traders. Her Book Market Mind Games has been described as “The Best of It’s Genre” and “The Rosetta Stone of Trading Psychology”. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The New York Times, and consulted on the SHOWTIME Drama series Billions as one of the inspirations for Maggie Siff’s character - Wendy Rhodes.
We discuss:
  • How Denise studied the neuroscience of emotions and unconscious thought but ditched her PHD to become a trader
  • Can (and should) we set aside our emotions in a high stakes environment like trading?
  • Why you should consciously incorporate your emotions into your decisions to make the best decisions
  • Feelings, thoughts, emotions, and physical body are all part of one integrated system and you have to think about it as an integrated continuum
  • Your psyche is trying to get important information to you by turning up the volume of your emotions
  • We should focus on finding the valuable kernel of information that our emotions are sending us
  • How do we learn from negative emotions (such as fear and anxiety)
  • Being able to differentiate between granularity of anxiety helps you process the feelings better
  • If you didn’t have some level of anxiety you would never do the preparation necessary
  • Define, as clearly as possible, the things you are afraid of, own it, connect head to stomach, and describe it with the word. (your psyche will feel like you got the message through)
  • Once your anxiety and fear feel acknowledged it naturally dissipates
  • The vital importance of journaling and being gentle and kind to yourself, to help you understand your emotions
  • Everyone has all kinds of feelings, everyone doubts themselves on some level, the top performers, hedge fund managers, and olympic athletes  - its part of the human condition
  • How can historical echoes create repeated behavioral patterns?
  • The critical period for who we are and how we relate in the world happen very early - as Freud called them “the compulsion to repeat”, and as Denise calls them “echoes” or “fractals”
  • How studying traders and their trades showed Denise that people would trade in accordance with their life stories, and the patterns and mistakes they made repeated themselves again and again
  • Negative feelings are a mechanism to look and understand the fractals from our past and exploring child hood experiences can help you uncover more about them
  • The importance of doing the historical work, digging into your childhood, asking yourself “how would I have felt” (so you can get past the filter of “oh that didn’t bother me”)
  • An amazing question you can ask yourself about past events - how would someone else have felt about that? That question helps you break past the self denial that it did hurt you. 
  • Repetitions of past mistakes are opportunities to reorganize things you weren't able to deal with in your past
  • Always ask - what would someone else think about that, how would someone else feel about this in the situation? You will often project your own feelings onto someone else
  • We primarily think that discipline will change behavior, which is not always the case
  • Feelings are the foundations of our consciousness, thoughts are built on top of that, you have a lot more leverage working on your feelings 
  • Why you can’t solve everything with your head
  • The inaccuracies of the model of the “triune” brain - no neuroscientist at the cutting edge of neuroscience believes that anymore
  • The vital importance of sleep, exercise, and cultivating your physical system as part of building mental performance
  • One of the biggest commonalities between peak performers - dedication to getting better, putting in the work and the preparation, regardless of what it takes
    • Break down all the core pieces you need to achieve your goal
    • Understand how those pieces fit together
    • Execute every piece
  • The other major commonality of peak performers - self awareness
  • How to take negative energy to use that to help you continue to prepare towards your goals
  • How a lot of people ignore the social and emotional aspects of performance despite the massive leverage available to working there
  • Why the biggest mistake high performers make is to set aside their emotions
  • Unconscious setting feelings and emotions aside by being over scheduled - overactivity / constant distraction never gives you the opportunity to understand and dig into your emotional life
  • Know your feelings without judgement, take a step to try and understand what the kernel of that feeling is
  • You, your feelings and experiences matter and you need to take time to honor them
  • And much more!
The 3 Keys You Need To Answer Life’s Most Important Questions with Dr. Barry Schwartz

The 3 Keys You Need To Answer Life’s Most Important Questions with Dr. Barry Schwartz

June 8, 2017
In this episode we look at how Toyota turned the worst automobile factory in America into the best without changing any personnel, we discuss the paradox of choice, paralysis by analysis and the danger of having too many choices, the vital importance of having a multi-disciplinary viewpoint to truly understand reality, ask if there are quick fixes for wisdom, and much more with Dr. Barry Schwartz
Dr. Barry Schwartz is a Professor at the Haas school of business at UC berkley. He has authored over 10 books including The Paradox of Choice, Why We Work, and Practical Wisdom as well as more than 100 professional journal articles. He has been featured on the TED stage, in the The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and much more.
We discuss:
  • How Barry’s work in animal learning, following in the footsteps of BF Skinner, led him down the path of his journey
  • Why a focus on rewards and punishments is too narrow an understanding
  • The importance of multi-disciplinary work to unearth the truth and understand reality
  • How we can begin to think in a more multi-discplinary way
  • The answers to the most important questions in life are very complex, and efforts to simplify them are doomed to failure
  • The flaws in the dominant ideologies of western society in understanding and explaining why we work
  • People don’t work only for pay - here are the other reasons people work:
    • They want to be engaged
    • They want discretion and control
    • They want to be appreciated
    • They want to be challenged
    • They want to do something that has meaning
  • Why only 10% of the world’s work force is “engaged in their work”
  • How did Toyota turn around the worst automobile factory in America into the BEST factory in America without changing the work force?
  • The importance of the big 3 factors - Autonomy, Control, and Discretion
  • What has enabled the container store to be so successful
  • How focusing on improving the quality of work and creating good work can be good for the bottom line as well
  • How Aristotle defines “Wisdom”
  • How excessive management and supervision has destroyed the ability of teachers to become effective
  • How the the reliance on rules and incentives to get people to behave properly is the enemy of wisdom
  • Wisdom is learned, but it can’t be taught - the way you learn to be wise is by trying and failing
  • You learned by doing, by getting it wrong, and by correcting your mistakes
  • Trial and error, mentoring, modeling - there’s no quick fix for wisdom, you have to be in it for the long haul
  • Its OK to get it wrong
  • We go deep into Barry’s famous book The Paradox of Choice
  • Paralysis by analysis and the danger of having too many choices
  • How can we simplify our lives and avoid the paradox of choice?
  • “Good enough is virtually always good enough”
  • People who aspire to “the best” get better results, and feel worse about them, than people who are happy with “good enough”
  • Don’t be unambitious and have no standards, have high standards, but don’t feel like if you aren’t the absolute best you’re a failure
  • And much more!