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
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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
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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
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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!
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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!
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Proven Tactics For Getting What You Want & Persuading Anyone With Master Negotiator Kwame Christian

June 1, 2017
In this episode we dig into Negotiation. Why, no matter what you do, its essential to master the skill of negotiation, the barriers that prevent people like you from negotiating effectively, why the common sense rules of the real world are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions, the most powerful type of question you can use in a negotiation, the single biggest mistake you can make negotiating, and much more with Kwame Christian.
 
Kwame Christian is a business lawyer and owner of the Christian Law as well as the founder of the American Negotiation Institute. He also hosts the podcast Negotiation for Entrepreneurs, the top rated negotiation podcast on iTunes, where he interviews successful entrepreneurs and shares powerful persuasion techniques.
 
We discuss:
 
  • Why the majority of the conversations we have are negotiations and its a vital skill to work on and improve
  • Whether or not you’re good at negotiation, you’re still going to be negotiating on a daily basis
  • The “Three Pillars” of Succeeding at Negotiation
  • What is “offensive negotiation” & how to maximize value for yourself
  • What are the “defensive” uses of negotiation? And how you can use negotiation to avoid bad outcomes and resolve conflicts
  • How you can use negotiation to build relationships
  • How to become comfortable with asking for what you want
  • The FIRST barrier everyone faces when they negotiate
  • The SECOND barrier everyone faces when negotiating
  • Rejection therapy and how it can transform and improve your ability to negotiate
  • One question you should always ask to see how much flexibility you have
  • The common sense rules of the real world are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions
  • How to use framing to transform a negotiation and conversation (with concrete examples from Kwame’s work)
  • How open ended questions decrease the perceived threat of a conversation
  • How to become a “puppet master” controlling the conversation while the other party feels like they are in control
  • How to cultivate information asymmetry and get the informational advantage in a negotiation
  • How you can lead someone down a logical path where they convince themselves of what you want
  • How do you develop the skill of asking questions
  • How you can practice and improve the skillset of persuasion
  • Why curiosity is a critical component of being an effective negotiator and communicator
  • Why you need to be able to be persuaded to be able to persuade
  • Why preparation is an essential component in a negotiation
  • How, specifically, Kwame preps for a negotiation (specific checklists, questions, etc)
  • The Three Characteristics of Master Negotiators
  • How creativity fits into being an effective negotiator and why you should try to find inexpensive ways to solve other people’s problems
  • The false belief that negotiation is a zero sum game
  • Why great negotiators go out of their way to try and solve other people’s problems
  • The single biggest mistakes you can make in a negotiation
  • One of the biggest barriers to moving forward in a negotiation
  • How to build strong working relationships, with trust, and free flow of communication
  • And much more!
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Research Reveals How You Can Create The Mindset of a Champion with Dr. Carol Dweck

May 25, 2017
This episode is all about MINDSET. What is a mindset? What is the fixed mindset and how does it shape the way we act in the world, what is the growth mindset and how can it transform the way we live our lives? We look at research data from over 168,000 students, examine the mindset of champions, the dangers of blame and excuses, and much more with Dr. Carol Dweck.
 
Dr. Carol Dweck is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of the best-selling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - which is one of the single most important books in shaping my life. Her work has been featured in several publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Today Show, 20/20 and many more.
 
  • What is a mindset?
  • What is the fixed mindset?
  • We go deep into the “fixed mindset” and how they view challenges and the world
  • What is effort and how does the fixed mindset perceive it?
  • Is effort necessary to be successful or is it a sign that you’re not naturally talented?
  • If you have a fixed mindset, how do you think about criticism?
  • Do you often “need to be right?” - and how could that need be impacting your life?
  • We examine in detail what the “growth mindset” is and what underpins its core perception of reality
  • Setbacks are welcome and setbacks are inevitable
  • This fundamental conclusion is backed by 35+ years of psychological research, hundreds of studies, and more
  • A study of over 168,000 students (the entire 10th grade population of Chile) demonstrating all of these findings 
  • Research data from everything from dating life to conflict in the middle east bears out the lessons of fixed vs growth mindset
  • What is the most effective way to recover from devastating rejections?
  • Is it possible to change your mindset?
  • How to transform your mindset and specific steps you can take to move towards a growth mindset
  • How to find the things that trigger your fixed mindset reactions
  • Discover and name your “fixed mindset persona”
  • Success as improvement vs success as superiority
  • Self handicapping and the concept that effort robs you of your excuses
  • Repairing your self esteem vs repairing your failure
  • It’s impossible to learn from a mistake if you deny making it in the first place
  • The grave danger of placing blame, making excuses, and denying failure in order to protect your self esteem
  • The mindset of a champion and how champions rise to the occasion
  • Viewing people as judges vs viewing people as allies
  • How do we reconcile the lessons of mindset with the idea that you should focus on your strengths?
  • What are the most common triggers of the fixed mindset?
    • Taking on a challenge, out of your comfort zone
    • Struggling, not making progress
    • Setback, criticism, failure
  • Strength and weakness are much more dynamic than we understand or give them credit for
  • Don think your strengths will be strengths forever if you don't work on them and grow them
  • The dangers of the self esteem movement and how it actually cultivates the fixed mindset
  • And much more!
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The Secret of How Sound Can Make You Be Happier & Achieve More with Julian Treasure

May 18, 2017
In this episode we go deep on sound – we discuss how sound changes your body and affects your heart rate, breathing, brain waves, and hormone secretions, the secret to cultivating soundscapes that make us happier and more productive, the incredible power of listening and how it can change your reality, how, like sound waves, we are all vibrating, from the smallest physical level, to the macro level, and much more with Julian Treasure.
 
Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a consultancy firm that advises worldwide businesses on how to effectively use sound. Julian has delivered 5 TED talks with more than 30 million views about listening, communication, and the effect sound has on the human brain. He is the author of the book Sound Business and the upcoming book How To Be Heard. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The Economist, and many more.
 
We discuss:
 
  • Why musicians have slightly larger brains than non-musicians
  • We are all vibrating, from the smallest physical level, to the macro level
  • What is sound itself and how does it affect us?
  • How sound changes your body and affects your heart rate, breathing, brain waves, and hormone secretions
  • What sound to listen to if you have trouble sleeping
  • How sound entrains all of your bodily rhythms
  • How music and sound impacts your mood, feelings, emotions, and psychology
  • It is possible to listen to two people talking at once?
  • How ambient noise (especially human voice) can reduce your productivity by up to 66%
  • How noise can negatively change your behavior, create stress, etc
  • How noise kills 1 million health-years per year in Europe (via reduced life expectancy)
  • The secret to cultivating soundscapes that make us happier and more productive
  • The incredible power of listening and how it can change your reality
  • The underutilized sensitivity and power in the ears
  • Why it's a grave mistake to think that everyone listens the same way that you do
  • How silence is a vital part of improving your ability to listen
  • The power of 3 minutes of silence per day
  • Why open plan offices are terrible for concentration and contemplation
  • “The mixer” exercise you can perform to make yourself a better listener
  • The importance of savoring the mundane sounds around us every day
  • How you can use "listening positions” to transform how you listen
  • The difference between critical listening vs empathic listening
  • We all want to be heard, to be understood, and to be valued
  • Do men and women have different default listening positions?
  • Convergent listening vs divergent listening
  • How “RASA” can make you a much better listener
  • How truly listening to someone can be an amazing gift
  • The human voice is one of the most complex and amazing instruments in the world
  • The 4 communication channels - Reading, writing, speaking, listening
  • The way you say something is much more important than how you say it
  • The vocal toolbox and how you can use these tools to be a more effective communicator
  • Posture is a critical component in the vocal toolbox
  • The power of breath, and a simple breathing exercise we can all use
  • The registers we can use to change the power of our voice
  • The modal register 
  • How to speak from the chest
  • You want your voice to have the timbre of hot chocolate (rich, smooth)
  • How changing pace, pitch, and tone can impact how someone receives what you say and make you a more powerful communicator
  • How silence can be an incredible tool in your vocal toolbox
  • The four cornerstones of powerful speech
  • Good speaking is not about you, its about the other person
  • It all comes down to listening, fundamentally - understanding listening positions is the most important idea of all of those
  • Ask yourself “What’s the listening?”
  • How technology is starting to work more and more towards speaking and listening as skillsets 
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Integrating 50,000 Years of Human Knowledge into a Single Comprehensive Map of Reality with Ken Wilber

May 11, 2017
In this episode we dig into a massive framework for answers some of the biggest questions in life, ask if its possible to integrate 50,000 years of human knowledge into a single comprehensive map of reality, we look at the greatest good that a human being can achieve, we go deep on the path of “waking up” offered by thousands of years, hundreds of cultures, and what the clearest and strikingly similar paths to enlightenment are, we discuss how to integrate and understand the connections between art, morality, and science and much more with our guest Ken Wilbur.
 
Ken Wilbur is the founder of the Integral Institute which serves as a think tank aiming to synthesize all human experience and knowledge. He’s been called the “Einstein of consciousness”, and is the author of over twenty books with a focus on transpersonal psychology including A Brief History Of Everything, The Integral Vision, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and more.
 
  • We dig into a massive framework for answers some of the biggest questions in life (who am I, why am I here, etc)
  • Building bigger pictures that fits all of our knowledge into a cohesive framework for understanding reality
  • Is it possible it to integrate 50,000 years of human knowledge into a single comprehensive map of reality?
  • The different paths of showing up, cleaning up, growing up, waking up
  • Most people, even experts, a completely unaware of the vast intersections of knowledge across human history and the major academic disciplines
  • The “integral” approach tries to take everything into account to provide a truly comprehensive approach to human society, life, business, ecology, politics, and more
  • The paths of “waking up” and “growing up” and why they are some of the most central and significant paths you can pursue in life
  • The two major states of consciousness that humans experience
  • Is it a misunderstanding to take ourselves as a single egoic self?
  • How every single thing and event is interwoven with the entire universe as a whole
  • What is the greatest good that a human being can achieve?
  • What is it like to have an enlightenment experience?
  • The seen self vs the seeing self? What is the observing self?
  • The synthesis of zen koans, Jesus’s teachings, and philosophy
  • The maps of “waking up” offered by thousands of years, hundreds of cultures, and what the clearest and strikingly similar paths to enlightenment are
  • All the major religious traditions describe a strikingly similar path towards “waking up”
  • Why mindfulness “resting in the witness” is the powerful path towards enlightenment
  • Religion as a mythic story that you’re supposed to agree with
  • Paths of waking up are not a “mythic story” but psychotechnologies of transformation
  • Nobody is smart enough to be wrong all the time - there has to be partial truth in almost everything that can be integrated into a holistic understanding of reality
  • The levels of human consciousness / understanding from developmental psychology 
  • The great stages of human development of society mimic the develop of individuals
  • “Waking up” and “growing up” are two very different things and you can be at different places on either of those paths
  • There is some degree of truth in virtually every approach to reality you look at, how can all of these approaches fit together, how can embrace all of them in a coherent fashion?
  • Hierarchies exist, but they don’t equate to moral superiority
  • The “big three” - the beautiful, the good, and the true (art, morality, science)
  • Is the current scientific perspective too limited to incorporate and understand deeper lessons from human history
  • Dominator heirachries and growth hierarchies - and how integral development transcends and includes the previous levels 
  • The goal of the integral approach is to put everything on the table and
  • Tracking the stages of evolutionary unfolding
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Proven Strategies of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion with Dr. Ronald Siegel

May 4, 2017

In this episode we examine how mindfulness practices developed independently in cultures across the world, discuss how evolution shaped our brains to focus on survival instead of happiness and fulfillment, we ask what is success? How do we define it? What is the failure of success? We go deep into how to practice self-compassion, and much more with Dr. Ronald Siegel.

Dr. Ronald Siegel is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. Ronald also currently serves on the Board of Directors and Faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is a longtime student of mindfulness meditation having authored and co-authored several books on the topic including The Mindfulness Solution, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and more.

We discuss:

  • Lessons about mindfulness from the Harvard medical school
  • Why did mindfulness practices spring up independently in cultures across the world?
  • You didn’t evolve to be happy (and why that’s super important)
  • How evolution shaped our brains to focus on survival and not happiness and fulfillment
  • How our minds are like Teflon for good things  & Velcro for bad things
  • Type 1 Errors and Type 2 Errors (and why our minds evolved to make way too many Type 1 Errors)
  • How evolution sculpted our brains to be incredibly concerned about social ranking and hierarchies
  • Why we focus incessantly on what other’s think about us and how we compare to other people and how that drives much of what happens in the world around us
  • The pain of “I, Me, My Mine” and how constant preoccupation with ourselves is a major cause of pain and suffering
  • When we are preoccupied with proving ourselves, it harms our connections with other people
  • What is success? How do we define it? What is the "failure of success?"
  • The major misconceptions about what will make us happy
  • The importance of connecting with others and engaging more fully in this moment
  • The dunning-Kruger effect and how it clouds our understanding of mindfulness
  • “High-resolution consciousness” and how you can create it
  • The relationship between mindfulness and thought
  • A huge amount of psychological suffering has to do with our thinking
  • Thoughts are mental contents rather than realities
  • Happiness stems from being FULLY PRESENT and ENGAGED
  • Fantasizing about future/past etc creates suffering
  • How does mindfulness relate to meditation? What’s the difference?
  • Train the mind not to push away the unpleasant experiences
  • We go through exercises explicitly design for cultivating acceptance
  • How mindfulness helps you break out of a cycle of comparison and cultivate loving self-acceptance
  • Identify the feeling states in your body and notice each time you get feelings of inflation and deflation
  • The vital importance of self-compassion
  • Feel your feelings and trust that it's OK to feel them
  • Who was the King of England in 1361? (and why it's ESSENTIAL to understand that)
  • The concepts of narcissistic recalibration and the hedonic treadmill
  • The scientific reality that everything is a wave function
  • Consciousness is a stream of experience that fluctuates up and down
  • And much more!

 

If you want to master meditation and mindfulness, listen to this episode! 

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Learning How To Learn, Sleeping Without Sleeping & Hacking Your Brain To Become A Learning Machine with Dr. Barbara Oakley

April 27, 2017
In this episode we discuss learning how to learn, meta learning, how Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison practiced the art of “sleeping without sleeping” to hack their neural systems, the concept of Chunking - what the neuroscience says about it and how you can use it to become a learning machine, why “following your passion” is not the right thing to focus, and much more with our guest Barbara Oakley.
 
Barbara Oakley is an associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan. She has been described as the “female Indiana Jones” and her research adventures have taken her from Russian fishing boats to Antarctica. She has authored several books on topics ranging from genetics to neuroscience and has a recent book called Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Human Potential. 
 
We discuss:
 
-How Barbara’s journey has taken her from the Army to Russian Trawlers in the Bering Sea, to an outpost in Antarctica
-How Barbara went from a math-phobe to a professor of engineering (and what she learned along the way)
-Are you afraid of math? Why math can seem to be intimidating (and it doesn’t have to be)
-Why the emphasis on memorization as the sole basis of learning has sabotaged our efforts to learn
-How the concept of deliberate practice and why it's so important to learning
-How you can augment deliberate practice to become an even more effective learner 
-Meta learning and how you can "learn how to learn"
-The concept of chunking - what the neuroscience says about it and how you can use it to become a learning machine
-What learning an instrument can teach us about learning physics and math
-How the brain learns - and the difference between “focused mode” and “diffused mode”
-The “task positive network” and the “default mode network” within your brain
-Why you can’t be in both the “focused mode” and the “diffused mode” at the same time
-How Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison practiced the art of “sleeping without sleeping” to hack their neural systems and harness the benefits of both the “focused mode” and the “diffused mode"
-How do we strike a balance between “focused attention” and “diffused attention”?
-How you can harness learning limitations like ADHD or slow memory to your advantage
-How the difference between a race car and a hiker illustrate the difference between divergent thinking styles and strategies
-The curse of genius, why geniuses often jump to conclusi s, and have a hard time changing their minds when they are wrong
-Illusions of competence and how they can short circuit our learning attempts
-Is test anxiety real? Why do we feel anxious before a test?
-Often limiting beliefs and excuses crop up when we haven’t done the work truly trying to learn something
-How to test yourself and improve your knowledge and understanding of any topic
-How you can think about math equations as a form of poetry to more deeply understand them
-Why you should focus on distilling knowledge into the core elements and principles
-Why you procrastinate (and the neuroscience behind what happens when you do)
-The pomodoro technique and how it can help you conquer procrastination
-Why “following your passion” is not the right thing to focus on
-How testosterone impacts how women and men learn differently and why women often mistakenly don’t pursue analytical paths
-Passions can lead you to dead ends in your career, you should focus on broadening your skillset
-Why its important to be strategic about your learning
-How you can “learn too much”
 
If you want to master the art of learning - listen to this episode! 
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The Secret Science of Lies & Body Language with Vanessa Van Edwards

April 20, 2017
In this episode we discuss how school gives you zero of the social and interpersonal skills necessary to be successful in life, the best starting point for build nonverbal communication, how to read facial expression and body language to discover hidden emotions, how to become a human lie detector, the secrets super connectors use to work a room, and much more with Vanessa Van Edwards.
 
Vanessa Van Edwards is the lead investigator at Science of People, a human behavior research lab. She is a Huffington Post columnist and published author. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Week and USA Today. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes. Her latest book, Captivate, was chosen as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017.
 
We discuss:
 
  • School gives you zero of the social and interpersonal skills necessary to be successful in life
  • The skills of nonverbal communication can be learned and trained
  • Between 60% and 90% of our communication is non-verbal
  • Why you shouldn’t put 100% of your eggs in the “verbal communication” basket
  • How humans give more weight to non-verbal communication
  • What is the best starting point for build nonverbal communication?
  • The importance good eye contact & a strong handshake
  • Why eye contact creates oxytocin and builds deeper connections
  • The “sweet spot” for maintaining good eye contact
  • What blind babies teach us about our facial expressions and the universality of much nonverbal communication
  • How twins separated at birth have the same nonverbal affectations
  • What are micro-expressions and why they are so important
  • The facial feedback hypothesis and how our faces create a feedback loop
  • The 7 micro-expressions that will change your life
  • Research from mental patients who lied to their doctors
  • How to read facial expression (or body language) to discover hidden emotions
  • The “fake science” myths around human lie detection
  • The statistical cues to deceit - things that liars most often do
  • Do “truth wizards” exist?
  • Average person is 54% accurate in detecting lies
  • What is baselining?
  • Encoding vs Decoding
  • What research on thousands of hours on TED Talks tells us about successful body language & the importance of congruency
  • Most people are better at decoding than encoding - start with what you are weakest at
  • We cannot cover up what we feel, focus on opportunities where you can thrive instead of places where you are merely surviving 
  • “The secrets of super-connectors,” how to “work a room” and the specific patterns they use 
  • How to be someone’s "social savior”
  • "Context conversation starters”
  • You learn ALOT about someone from a handshake
  • Handshakes produce more oxytocin than 3 hours of face to face time
  • Make the handshake equal (firmness and direction)
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How You Can Work Less & Achieve More by Mastering This ONE Key Principle with Perry Marshall

April 13, 2017
In this episode we look at what rabbit populations, craters on the moon, files on your hard-drive and the GDP of countries have in common, we discuss The power of fractals, the math of chaos theory, and what that all has to do with the 80/20 principle, How your understanding of the 80/20 is only the tip of the iceberg, how to generate 16x more leverage to achieve your goals, we go deep into sales wisdom from one of the world's top marketing consultants and much more with Perry Marshall.  
 
Perry Marshall is a trained engineer and one of the world’s most sought-after business consultants, helping clients across 300 industries by combining sales, engineering, art, and psychology. Perry is the bestselling author of several books including The Ultimate Guide To Google AdWord, 80/20 Sales and Marketing and Evolution 2.0.
 
  • How Perry went from being laid off and surviving on ramen and bologna sandwiches to becoming one of the world's top marketing consultants
  • How your understanding of the 80/20 principle is only the tip of the iceberg
  • What Fractals and Chaos Theory have to do with the 80/20 principle
  • What the pattern that Earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados and hurricanes follow has to do with marketing strategy
  • Fractals are everywhere in your life, nature, and the universe
  • The raw power of the butterfly effect
  • How the 80/20 principles rules everything in your life and business
  • “Levers within levers, within levers” and how that can shape your focus
  • Where to find the tiny hinges that swing huge doors
  • What do rabbit populations, craters on the moon, files on your hard-drive and the GDP of countries have in common?
  • How to align yourself with the 80/20 principle and harness its incredible power 
  • Do you want to live in the IS world or the SHOULD BE world?
  • If you deal with reality the way it is things become effortless
  • Once you understand the 80/20 principle, it transforms what you focus on
  • How most problems in life are a result of being on the wrong side of the 80/20 equation
  • What is “racking the shotgun?” and why is it so important
  • Don’t focus on fixing the bad 80%, focus on reproducing the successful 20%
  • One of the jobs of civilization is to mitigate the 80/20 principle
  • The world will always condition you to focus on the underperforms (the 80%)
  • You can get “A's" in six different subjects, but you’re gonna make a living in ONE
  • If you try 20 projects, the law of 80/20 says 1 should succeed!
  • Failure is OK, you only have to go get rich once
  • The 20% is 16x more leverage than the 80% that doesn’t generate results
  • Everyone is in sales in some form or fashion in their lives
  • Sales is not a convincing people process, sales and elimination process
  • First thing you should do in sales is disqualify people as quickly as possible
  • Never ask someone who can say no but who cannot say yes
  • The key questions you need to ask to disqualify sales leads
  • The story of the $2700 espresso machine
  • The 8 different modalities of selling and how you can thrive by embracing your own unique sales strengths
  • And much more!
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Your Brain on Money - Its Role in Biology, History, Life & Society with Kabir Sehgal

April 6, 2017
In this episode we discuss how you can create success by mashing two seeming unrelated ideas together, why energy is the currency of the biological world (and how that impacts the evolution of money within our society), we go deep into understanding money and its role in our lives, and we look at why you should investigate your own biases about money with Kabir Sehgal.
 
Kabir is a former a vice president in emerging markets at JP Morgan. He is the new york times and wall street journal bestselling author of the book Coined and has served as a speechwriter for the John Kerry presidential campaign, having been featured in Fortune, The Harvard Business Review, and other publications. Kabir is a CNBC contributor as well as a grammy winning producer, composer, and Jazz musician.
 
We discuss:
 
  • Creating an opera about the financial crisis
  • How you can create success by mashing two seeming unrelated ideas together 
  • The idea of lateral combination vs incremental growth and how it amplifies possibility
  • What is Money?
    • Unit of Value
    • Instrument of Exchange
    • Counting mechanism
  • Why Kabir defines money as a symbol of value
  • The neurological triggers associated with money
  • How a trip to the Galapagos islands transformed the way Kabir thought about money
  • The “biology of exchange” and how money expresses something deeply biological and rooted in evolution
  • Why energy is the currency of the biological world (and how that impacts the evolution of money within our society)
  • The rich history of money
  • Looking at financial decisions through brain scans and MRIs
  • How talking about money can change the electrical conductivity of your skin
  • Fascinating research data about how money impacts
  • How making money creates a brain state almost identical to cocaine addicts
  • What does research show gets men more excited - dead bodies, naked women, or money?
  • How your genetic composition impacts your psychology of money
  • How twin studies demonstrate people’s genetic preference for certain financial behaviors and risk profiles
  • The anthropology of debt
  • The history of bartering and how social debt was actually the first currency
  • Think of money as a measurement of debt 
  • What’s the difference between currency and money?
  • What does Genghis Khan have to do with the history of money?
  • What are Native American potlatches and what do they tell us about tipping behavior?
  • What is Soft Money, what is Hard Money, and what are the differences?
  • Does the weather impact your financial decisions?
  • What is the Soul of Money?
  • Misquoting Jesus?
  • Do Jesus and the Hindu scriptures offer the same financial advice?
  • Understanding money and its role in our lives
  • Why you should start with investigating your own biases about money
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How a Game Theory Expert Sold One Billion Bottles of Tea & What He Learned On The Journey with Barry Nalebuff

March 30, 2017
In this episode we discuss the fundamental principles of game theory, we correctly guess the answers to SAT questions - without every knowing what the question was! We look at how to use game theory in practical ways, and go deep on how a college professor and his student started a beverage company, sold a billion bottles of tea, and competed against Coke, Nestle, and other major players to become incredibly successful with our guest Barry Nalebuff.
 
Barry is a Professor of Economics and Management at Yale School of Management. A graduate of MIT, a Rhodes Scholar and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, Barry earned his doctorate at Oxford University. Barry is the author of several books, an expert in game theory which he applies to business strategy, and the co-founder of Honest Tea which has been named one of America’s fastest Growing Companies
 
We discuss:
 
  • What is game theory?
  • What are the fundamental principles of game theory?
  • The difference between ego-centric and being alo-centric
  • How do you design a system that avoids death spirals?
  • Everything in life is a game
  • Barry grills me on game theory with a fascinating example
  • We crush through some SAT questions and find the correct answer - without every knowing the question!
  • We use a simple game to understand Nash equilibrium and how that explains third world development challenges and corruption
  • What is the prisoner’s dilemma and how does it apply to the real world?
  • How global warming demonstrates a multi-person prisoner’s dilemma
  • The concept of “signaling” in game theory and how Michale Spence won a noble prize studying it
  • A real world example of how signaling can be used to change outcomes getting hired
  • How to use game theory to negotiate and create the best possible outcomes
  • A concrete example of how to "divide the pie” and reach a fair and “principled” conclusion in a negotiation
  • Why its important to figure out what the pie is before you determine how to split it
  • How a professor and his student pooled their resources, started a beverage company, sold a billion bottles of tea, and competed against coke, nestle, and other major players
  • The concept of “declining marginal utility” and how that shaped the founding of Honest Tea
  • We explain why a function is maximized when its derivative is zero
  • The “Babysitter Theorem” and why it was critical to Honest Tea’s success
  • How Barry and Seth used the Lean Startup approach to launch Honest Tea
  • Would it make sense for Pepsi to release a perfect replica of Coke?
  • Barry’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs 
    • Be radically different
    • Solve a challenging problem
    • Succeed without being copied
  • How Honest Tea prevented their business model from being copied and knocked off
  • And much more
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The Neuroscience Behind Building a Sustainable Healthy Lifestyle with Foodist Darya Rose

March 23, 2017

In this episode we discuss why dieting actually predicts weight gain over the long run, how you can build a “healthstyle” of habits that can accumulate small advantages and create a healthy lifestyle over time, how “habit loops” are formed and how you can leverage neuroscience to create habits that stick, the concept of Mindful Eating and how it can transform your relationship to the meals you eat, and more with our guest Darya Rose.

Darya Rose is a neuroscience Ph.D and the author of the book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting. Darya is the creator of Summer Tomato a blog where she teaches others to form healthy food habits by combining neuroscience, mindfulness, and nutrition. She has been featured on the Today Show, Oprah, Time Magazine, and was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential People In Health and Fitness

  • How Darya dug into the science behind healthy lifestyles and what she discovered
  • How everything Darya learned about health and nutrition was wrong
  • How Darya defines “dieting” (and why that’s so important)
  • Why dieting actually predicts weight gain over the long run
  • How your current relationship with food impacts your long-term health (and how you can shift it)
  • What the “biggest loser” gets wrong about dieting and weight gain
  • Why dieting is “torture” and is “set up so that you can't’ win”
  • The psychology behind why dieters often regain weight
  • What it means to  “moralize” your food choices and why you should avoid it
  • Why you should lose weight more slowly
  • How “dieting” can confuse your hormones and negatively impact your satiety cues
  • You are the sum of your habits
  • How do you build a “healthstyle” of habits that can accumulate small advantages and create a healthy lifestyle over time
  • How “habit loops” are formed and how you can leverage neuroscience to create habits that stick
  • Why growth mindset is essential to changing your habits and living a healthy lifestyle
  • The critical importance of rewards in building habits (and the different types of rewards)
  • Rewards must be internal and innately linked to whatever you’re doing
  • “Home court habits” that you need to develop to live in a healthy place and stay there sustainably 
  • Why you should eat your veggies!
  • Why Darya says that "Sitting is the new smoking"
  • The importance of sleep and maintaining your circadian rhythms to building a healthy lifestyle
  • Why Mindfulness is a critical part of a healthy diet
  • Mindful Eating and how it can transform your relationship to the meals you eat
  • The definition of “mindfulness” - being aware of your present physical experience, thoughts, & feelings (emotional feelings in the body) and being AWARE that those are happening without judgment 
  • Why you should focus on chewing your food more and eating more slowly
  • How to battle junk food cravings
  • The importance of real food, how do define it, and how to find it
  • The 80/20 principle and how it applies to healthy living
  • Create a habit journal and recognize how the things you are doing often
  • And more!
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How To Listen To Your Emotions, Recover From Trauma, and Control Your Brain Waves with Rene Brent

March 16, 2017
 

In this episode, we discuss why you can’t out-think your emotions, the relationship between trauma and our mind/body connection, how to start listening to your emotions, the power of hypnosis, and how to drop into your body to experience what you’re truly feeling with Rene Brent.

Rene is a Certified Clinical and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist. She is the Director and Instructor of the Externship Program at the Orlando Florida Institute of Hypnotherapy. She’s also the bestselling author of How Big is Your But: Discover How To Let Go Of Blocks And Move Forward In Your Life.

We discuss:

  • How working as a trauma nurse deepened Rene’s understanding of the mind/body connection
  • How our thoughts control our body chemistry and physical reactions
  • What is hypnosis and how does it work?
  • How Rene approaches hypnosis from a science-based perspective and how hypnosis impacts your brain waves
  • The difference between alpha brain waves and beta brain waves
  • The relationship between hypnosis and flow states
  • How we can get caught in conscious thought loops that prevent us from experiencing our emotions
  • What happens when we consciously suppress our subconscious thoughts and feelings?
  • How the subconscious mind bubbles up and tries to get you to listen
  • How being very busy with your external life can prevent you from looking at your internal life
  • True joy only exists when you start experiencing emotions and listening to your subconscious mind
  • You cannot out-think your emotions, positive thinking doesn't work when you’re in a survival state
  • How something that happens in childhood can imprint a false belief that can impact you for your entire life 
  • Communication is not what you said, it's what the other person heard
  • How do you listen more effectively to your subconscious mind?
  • How to push a pause button and pattern interrupt in the subconscious brain
  • Why you cannot heal something until you bring it up from the subconscious mind
  • The power of breathing and breath exercises
  • Anxiety is not an emotion, its a symptom of fear
  • Emotions amplify when we push them down, they release when we allow them to happen
  • While you may not have words for your emotions, your physical body is your emotional GPS
  • The “felt sense” of emotion and how you feel it in your body
  • When you drop into your body, you’re actually dropping into your subconscious mind
  • If the heart is quiet and you pay attention, the mind will be still
  • The pattern of how events create beliefs, beliefs create emotions, and emotions create symptoms
  • How targeting the subconscious mind rapidly speeds up interventions
  • The power of forgiveness and working with your inner child
  • How negative self-talk is counter productive
  • Why SLEEP is the fundamental pillar of psychological wellbeing
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Find Your Dream Job, Pivot Your Career, and Take Smart Risks with Jenny Blake

March 9, 2017
In this episode we discuss what to do if you feel like you’re having a mid-life crisis every two years, the importance of staying grounded while you make big changes in your life, how to pivot your career and take “smart risks,” how to discover your strengths, and the right way to make big, exciting changes in your career with Jenny Blake.
 
Jenny Blake is a bestselling author, career and business strategist. Jenny began in the startup world and went on to work in Training and Career Development at Google before pivoting to pursue her own projects full time. Shes teh author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One: and has been featured on TED, CNBC, Forbes, US World & News, and more!
 
We discuss: 
  • What to do if you feel like you’re having a mid-life crisis every two years
  • The importance of learning, growing, and making an impact
  • How to find “pivot points” in your life and what to do when you find them
  • The importance of staying grounded while you pivot and while you make big changes in your life
  • The 4 stages of pivoting & how to take "smart risks”
  • The comfort zone, the panic zone, and the stagnation zone
  • The critical importance of finding your strengths
  • Exercises that help you truly find your strengths
  • The risk of “self assessment” strength tests and what you can do to find your strengths more effectively
  • The critical importance of bolstering your bench
  • “Frentors” and how they can create accountability and help you achieve your goals
  • How finding people who are a few steps ahead of you can help you 
  • The “perpetual newbie state” and the critical importance of learning and growing
  • Think of your career like a smartphone, not a ladder
  • Why you don’t have to know what direction you’re heading in next, but you can try many directions and double down on the ones that are working the best
  • The importance of "10% projects” and how you can find them either within your career or in entirely new spaces
  • The “15 for 30” challenge and how you can transform your options 
  • Why you should revel in what others reject
  • How someone else’s grunt work can be your area of genius
  • The “3 Es” of Testing a new idea and how they can help you pick the right direction to move in
  • How you can “flip failure”
  • How defining failure can help you overcome the fear of it
  • And much more! 
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How To Master Emotional Intelligence & Why Your IQ Won’t Make You Successful with Dr. Daniel Goleman

March 2, 2017
In this episode, we talk about Emotional Intelligence. What is emotional intelligence and why does it matter so much? How the science demonstrates that emotional intelligence matters far more than IQ, how you can develop and improve your “EQ”, how to build the muscle of focus, and much more with Dr. Daniel Goleman.
 
Daniel is a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. He currently co-directs the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University. He is the international best-selling author of several books including Primal Leadership, Focus, and Emotional Intelligence which has been translated into over 40 languages.
 
WE DISCUSS:
 
  • What is emotional intelligence and why does it matter so much?
  • The 4 pillars of emotional intelligence
  • Is IQ or EQ more important, which correlates more with success?
  • Why IQ is more of a threshold, and EQ scales more with people’s actual results in the world
  • How the science of “competence modeling” demonstrates that emotional intelligence matters far more than IQ, the more successful you become 
  • Which of the four pillars of EQ do people struggle with the most?
  • The 3 varieties of empathy - cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern
  • The mental exercises you can do to strengthen certain brain circuitry required to build emotional intelligence
  • How to cultivate and strengthen emotional self control
  • What the science say about ways to strenghten the prefrontal cortext around controling your amygdala
  • The mind is a muscle and basic repetition strengthens your circuitry
  • The hard science behind how to cultivate a positive outlook
  • The ventilation fallacy and why venting your anger is actually bad for you
  • The more you rehearse an emotion, the stronger the underlying brain circuitry becomes
  • The incredible power of seeing your thoughts as thoughts and nothing more
  • How to step back and assess your thoughts by asking “Is this helpful?"
  • The power of distraction to shift your thoughts away from anxiety and depression
  • How Dr. Goleman defines FOCUS and why it's so important
  • How focus and attention are muscles and cultivating them can help strengthen your underlying brain circuitry
  • The difference between rumination and reflection - and why reflection is so important
  • How a Power Nap can restore your brain
  • How to restore your attention and focus when you find yourself at wit’s end and cannot focus anymore
  • What is PRIMAL Leadership and why is it so important?
  • Why the crucial competencies you need to develop EQ and emotional intelligence are all learned abilities
  • How to give positive feedback and constructive criticism - the right way and the wrong way - don’t attack the PERSON - don’t trigger the negative circuitry, trigger a positive outlook 
  • Why managing your own negative emotions is the FIRST STEP towards cultivating emotional intelligence
  • Step back from your thoughts and ask yourself - is this useful? Cultivate self-awareness
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Are Babies Racist? Is Empathy Bad for Society? And More with Dr. Paul Bloom

February 23, 2017
In this episode we start with a dive into evolutionary psychology and how biases have been programmed into you by millions of years of evolution, look at why our guest condemns the concept of Empathy, how the science demonstrates that empathy has no correlation with doing good in the world, how empathy creates disastrous outcomes, and more with our guest Dr. Paul Bloom


Dr. Paul Bloom is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University and received his PhD from MIT. Paul is the coeditor of the journal Behavior and Brain Sciences and author of several books including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, and most recently Against Empathy: The Case For Rational Compassion.
 
  • We dig into Paul’s research on babies and their innate sense of right and wrong
  • A surprising and extremely powerful source of bias that babies innately have
  • The in-group vs out-group and how babies slice up and divide the world
  • How dividing a group by coin flips can create serious behavioral biases towards your own group
  • Evolutionary psychology and how biases have been programmed into you by millions of years of evolution
  • The morality of evolution and how kindness evolved 
  • How people, from an evolutionary point of view, think about strangers
  • The definition of empathy and how Paul defines it
  • Why Paul criticizes the concept of empathy
  • Why feeling the feelings of others is a really lousy moral guide
  • Why the science shows that empathy has no correlation with how much good people do in the world
  • What happens when soccer fans see someone shocked and how they're brains respond completely differently if its a fan of their team vs their opponents team
  • How our natural empathy response is riddled with extreme bias
  • How empathy creates disastrous political outcomes
  • The "Willy Horton incident" and how the empathic response resulted in more rapes and murders
  • Why Paul says controversially that mass shootings are objectively less than a rounding error
  • Why being against empathy doesn't mean we should turn into cold blooded monsters
  • The distinction between empathy and compassion and why its so critical
  • How Buddhist philosophy lead Paul to move away from empathy and towards compassion
  • Why its so critical to be aware of your biases before you can shift them and overcome them
  • Why we are more than just our biases and limitations
  • Pauls vision for the human future and how an awareness of our biases is critical to build a future where rational and logical thinking can move us to a better future
  • And more!
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The Paradox of Happiness - Why Pursuing It Makes You Less Happy & What You Can Do About It with Dr. Tal Ben Shahar

February 16, 2017
In this episode we discuss the paradox of happiness - why pursuing it makes you less happy, and what you can do about it, we dig into the research about what really makes people happy, we break down happiness into its essential components and discuss how to cultivate it, we look at the interaction between stress and recovery and why most people look at it the wrong way, why active acceptance and surrender is critical to processing and dealing with negative emotions and much more with Dr. Tal Ben Shahar.
Dr. Tal Ben Shahar created the most popular course in Harvard University’s history, he is the best-selling author of several books including The Pursuit of Perfect, Happier, Choose The Life You Want, Even Happier. He’s also the co-founder and chief learning officer of The Wholebeing Institute, Potentialife, Maytiv, and Happier.TV.
 
We discuss:
  • What science shows is the The #1 Predictor of Happiness
  • How the direct pursuit of happiness can actually prevent you from being happy and makes you less happy
  • One of the most robust findings in the field of psychology research is about what creates happiness
  • The paradox of happiness - why pursuing it makes you less happy, and what you can do about it
  • Why the expectation that you should be happy all the time is a barrier to your own happiness
  • The “hamburger model” and how it can transform the way that you live your life
  • The lens that we can use to understand all of our “happy” experiences
  • How Tal defines “happiness” as the intersection of meaning and pleasure
  • We discuss what The BEST predictor of your future behavior is
  • Why awareness is a critical first step to cultivating happiness
  • We dig into the research about what really makes people happy
  • Why money has very little to do with happiness (according to the research)
  • The vital importance of cultivating healthy relationships
  • We discuss the blue zones where people live the longest in the world and why these people live longer than anyone else
  • The critical importance of physical exercise on your psychological wellbeing
  • How to trigger a release of the “feel good” chemicals in your brain (norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin)
  • How happiness helps you be healthier, more creative, gives you more energy, and makes you more productive
  • Strategies for indirectly pursuing happiness
  • We break down happiness into its essential components and discuss how to cultivate it
  • The only 2 types of people who do not experience painful emotions (are you one of them?)
  • What happens when we try to suppress negative emotions 
  • How experiencing and accepting negative emotions can paradoxically improve your happiness 
  • Why active acceptance and surrender is critical to processing and dealing with negative emotions
  • How perfectionism can create self sabotage and unhappiness
  • The critical distinction between healthy perfectionism and unhealthy perfectionism
  • The vital importance of accepting criticism and how refusing to accept criticism hamstrings you
  • Adaptive vs maladaptive perfectionism and why its important to know the difference 
  • (Once again) Meditation and how important it is
  • The interaction between stress and recovery and why most people look at it the wrong way
  • Why stress isn’t bad and in fact can be very good for - but with a very important caveat 
  • How the concept of weight lifting can help us better understand and manage stress in our lives
  • How recovery is vital to your productivity, health, and happiness
  • How long periods of recovery are an investment in your future growth
  • The power of breath and how it is an incredibly impactful mind/body intervention to reduce stress and anxiety
  • The vital importance of rituals and how you should build them into your day
  • “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.”
  • We walk through Tal’s powerful daily ritual and how you can harness it to change your day
  • How self forgiveness and self compassion can transform your life and emotional experience
  • And much more!!
 
If you want to live a happier life - listen to this episode! 
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Do Neuroscience and Quantum Physics Disprove the Existence of Free Will? With Dr. Alfred Mele

February 9, 2017

In this episode we go DEEP on free will. Does free will exist? How does quantum physics impact the existence of free will?  We look at the neuroscience behind the concept of free will, and look at whether conscious decision-making exists at all or all of our decisions arise within the subconscious with Dr. Alfred Mele.

Dr. Alfred Mele is a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is also the Director of the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project and previous director of the Big Questions in Free Will Project (2010-2013). Mele is the author of over 200 articles and ten books including “Free Will & Luck”, “Self Deception Unmasked,” and “Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will."

  • We do deep on the definition of Free Will and what it means
  • Do you have free will?
  • Dr. Mele’s “gas station” model of Free will and what it means
  • What is “deep openness” and does it underpin the existence of free will?
  • The concept of determinism and whether or not it is compatible with the idea of free will
  • How quantum physics shapes the physical reality of free will
  • Philosophical concept of dualism and how it interacts with the existence of free will
  • Does your environment impact your ability to have “free will” and make independent decisions?
  • Does science leaves open the possibility for free will to  exist?
  • We go deep into the actual neuroscience experiments that test whether or not we have free will
  • We get into the millisecond readings of EEGs that show how the brain’s decision making works to determine whether or not our decisions are truly free
  • We explore type 2 readiness potential and why its so critical to understanding whether or not we have free will
  • Where the evidence lands in terms of the neuroscience of free will
  • Does your unconscious rule your mind or can you consciously make free decisions?
  • Does your environment and upbringing predetermine your decisions?
  • Does moral responsibility exist in a world without free will? 
  • How do we handle questions of moral responsibility if free will doesn’t exist?
  • How do people behave when they dont believe they have free will?
  • Why 94% of University Professors rated themselves as above average professors
  • Why 25% of High School Students rated themselves in the top 1% of their ability to get along with others
  • We discuss the concept of Self Deception and how to combat it
  • And much more!
 
If you’ve always wondered about Free Will - listen to this episode! 
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How to Crush Fear, Overcome Anxiety, and Reprogram Your Life For Success with Justin Stenstrom

February 2, 2017
In this episode we discuss the 8 step process for overcoming anxiety and conquering your fears, how to stop a panic attack in real time, how you can tap into your subconscious mind and reprogram it, how to get deeper sleep, the power of hypnosis, and much more with Justin Stenstrom.
 
Justin is a nationally acclaimed life coach, author, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the founder of EliteManMagazine.com, the host of the Elite Man Podcast. Justin’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Maxim, and several other publications. 
 
We discuss:
  • How Justin overcame major depression, anxiety, and panic attacks to achieve his dreams
  • How Justin went from 3-4 panic attacks per week, suicidal thoughts, to living a healthy and happy life
  • Why Justin views his struggle with depression and anxiety was a blessing in disguise
  • Justin’s 8 step process to overcome anxiety and conquer your fears:
    • #1 - Realize that you’re not going crazy and there are a lot of solutions
    • #2 - Do a combination of meditation, yoga, hypnosis
    • #3 - Live in the present, future focus builds up a lot of anxiety, living in the past creates depression
    • #4 Exercise 4-5x per week, backed by substantial research
    • #5 Improve your sleep
    • #6 Improve your diet
    • #7 Take the right supplements
    • #8 Use the 3 step technique to crush panic attacks
  • The incredible 3 step process for dealing with a panic attack right now
  • How hypnosis can be an incredibly powerful intervention for dealing with anxiety and how you can hypnotize yourself
  • Why hypnosis is so powerful, because it speaks directly to your subconscious mind
  • How to tap into your subconscious mind and reprogram it
  • The “trance” state between sleep and waking
  • Practical tips for cultivating a healthy and deep sleep environment
  • How to condition your mind for deeper sleep
  • Why Cell phones and TV before bed are one of the worst things you can do
  • How to stop yourself from hitting the snooze button
  • The ideal temperature to sleep
  • Why having a midnight snack might be really good for you
  • Should you wake up in the middle of the night and work?
  • Dietary interventions to deal with depression
  • “This is how you ride a roller coaster”
  • The power of facing your fears head on and exposing them for what they are
  • Why you should challenge your fears and ask for more of it
If you want to crush anxiety and fear, listen to this episode!
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Pride: Why The Deadliest Sin Could Hold the Secret to Your Success with Dr. Jessica Tracy

January 26, 2017
In this episode we discuss PRIDE – and why it may not be the deadly sin that it’s often cracked up to be. We dig into how the research defines pride, examine the critical distinction between self esteem and narcissism, the deep importance of being able to accept criticism, and look at the difference between strategies of dominance and strategies of prestige with Dr. Jessica Tracy. 
 
Jessica is a professor of psychology at the University of BC where she also directs the Emotion and Self Lab. She is the author of Take Pride: Why The Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success. She has published over 80 journal articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and reviews, and her groundbreaking work on pride has been covered by hundreds of media outlets, including ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR’s All Things Considered, the New York Times, the Economist, and Scientific American.
 
  • How Jessica defines Pride in a way that may shock you
  • How pride can also be positive
  • The two different kinds of pride experiences 
  • How one type of pride is linked to tons of positive outcomes (and the other has severe downsides)
  • The critical distinction between self esteem and narcissism
  • The truth about what narciststs and hubristic people feel deep down
  • We dig into research studies show about how people with narcissism deal with criticism 
  • The critical importance of being able to take criticism 
  • Why not being able to take criticism is a huge red flag for hubristic pride
  • We discuss Paul Eckman’s research on the universality of emotions
  • The expansive and visually apparent physical display of Pride and how you can recognize it
  • The fascinating finding from studying blind olympians and how they demonstrate pride
  • How pride can be a huge positive motivator to make you want to succeed
  • We dig into a number of specific research examples from Dr. Tracy’s research
  • How your emotions are “adaptive” and what that means
  • The adaptive benefits of pride and how it helps you achieve status
  • The critical difference between prestige and dominance 
  • We discuss whether a strategy of dominance or a strategy of prestige is more effective in creating the results you want
  • Would you rather be loved or feared? (we answer that)
  • We discuss President Donald Trump and how his strategy of dominance caught many people by surprise and serve as a fascinating real life case study of Dr. Tracy’s research
  • We discuss the concept of “self conscious emotions”, what they are, and why they are important
  • We discuss some of Dr. Tracy's research about shame 
  • Why its better to be guilty than ashamed
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Artificial Intelligence, Cryogenics, & Procrastination with Wait But Why’s Tim Urban

January 19, 2017
In this episode we discuss what Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking all consider the single greatest threat to humanity, why “death” is not binary event that makes you transition from being alive or dead at a specific moment in time, we ask if you would spend $1000 on a chance to live forever, we look at the biology behind cryogenics, vitfrication, and putting your body on biological pause, and we explore why poverty, climate change, war, and all our problems melt away in the face of one massively important issue with our guest Tim Urban. 
 
Tim Urban is the creator of Wait But Why and has become one of the most popular writers on the internet with fans such as Maria Popova, Sam Harris, and Elon Musk.
 
His content has become so popular that according to Fast Company he has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of” with an average of over 1.5 million unique readers visiting and engaging on Wait But Why each month. 
 
We discuss:
  • Tim’s story and how he got started with Wait But Why
  • How Tim writes about everything from the human condition, to the universe, the future and huge technology trends
  • How Tim becomes a mini-expert in tons of different fields
  • How Tim overcomes massive procrastination to achieve his goals 
  • The interplay between “The Rational Decision-Maker”, “The Instant Gratification Monkey” and "The Panic Monster”
  • The vital importance of "important but not urgent" activities 
  • Tim’s struggle with perfectionism
  • The importance of creating accountability to overcome procrastination 
  • What Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking all consider the single greatest threat to humanity
  • Why Artificial Intelligence is the single most defining issue facing humanity
  • Are you smarter than a computer?
  • The difference between “narrow” artificial intelligence, “general” artificial intelligence and artificial “superinteliigence"
  • What happens when artificial intelligence develops the ability to improve itself?
  • Why the AI revolution is inevitable and will take place within the next 20-40 years
  • Why poverty, climate change, war, and all our problems melt away in the face of artificial superinteligence 
  • The battle between instant gratification and long term planning - how it relates to procrastination and AI
  • Why the notion that cryonics is the act of “freezing” “dead people”is fundamentally wrong on several levels
  • Why “death” is not binary event that instantly transitions you from being alive or dead at a specific moment in time
  • The biology behind cryogenics, vitfrication, and putting your body on biological pause
  • Would you spend $1000/year for a chance to live forever?
  • “The truth is, involuntary death sucks”
  • The body is just a physical object that can be upgraded and replaced
  • And much more!
 
If you love exploring relevant and highly fascinating scientific topics - listen to this episode! 
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The Hard Truth About Psychology, Learning New Skills, & Making Mistakes with Dr. Art Markman & Dr. Bob Duke

January 12, 2017
In this episode we discuss whether time speeds up as we get older, why your life story only makes sense looking in reverse, whether or not brain games actually work, the importance of proactive learning instead of passive learning, why psychology confirms all your worst fears about studying and getting smarter – and much more with a special TWO GUEST interview featuring Dr. Art Markman & Dr. Bob Duke!
 
Dr. Art Markman is a Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations.
 
Dr. Bob Duke is a Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, He also directs the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.   

Together they co-host the NPR radio show Two Guys on Your Head and recently co-authored the book Brain Briefs.

We discuss:

  • Does time speed up as you get older?
  • Why your brain pays less and less attention to things that don’t change 
  • How you underestimate the power of new experiences to have a positive impact on on you
  • Brains are efficient, and efficient is another word of lazy
  • Why your brain wants to keep doing what it did last time
  • How Dyson vacuums where created (and what saw mills have to do with it)
  • The importance of learning things that seem like they “don’t matter” right now
  • The downside of a linear and close minded path of achievement
  • Why “everyone they know who is successful knows ALOT about ALOT of things” and you can’t know ahead of time what key information will make you successful
  • Why you shouldn’t edit your life story in the forward direction (and what that means)
  • Is your memory doomed to fail?
  • Why one of the worst things you can do for your memory is to worry about your memory!
  • Do brain games actually work?
  • How do you engage the mind a way that develops thinking?
  • The difference between reading and writing and how they impact your brain
  • The importance of proactive learning instead of passive learning
  • What the data says about regret and how to deal with it
  • How learning is effortful when it actually works, and why without effort, there is very little learning
  • Is it true that we only use 10% of our brains?
  • Your brain is 3% of your body weight, but uses 25% of your daily energy supply
  • Does listening to Mozart make you smarter?
  • Why we can’t get something for nothing (and why you should stop looking for “get smart quick schemes”)
  • Why psychology confirms all your worst fears about studying and getting smarter
  • How curiosity is vital to your thinking ability
  • Why its OK to get stuff wrong, as long as you repair your error
  • Why every bit of skilled performance that you see has a deep reservoir of hard work hidden behind it 
  • The critical importance of perception and self awareness in growing and improving
  • Why you are worst at judging your performance when you are bad (isn’t this one true!)
  • Why “expert performers” are really good at identifying all of their flaws
  • How to cultivate self awareness of your flaws in a way thats non-threatening to you and your ego
  • Mistakes are not the problem, but denying them is
  • The critical importance of sleep
  • How sleep clears toxins out of your brain, helps you form better memories, learn more, etc
  • Think about what has brought you joy, what brings you joy, and schedule those things into your life regularly
 
If you want to master your mind - listen to this episode! 
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The Power of Storytelling, Loving Yourself, and Using Fear as Your Compass with Kamal Ravikant

January 5, 2017

In this episode we discuss the Daily Practice that works to develop self-love, how fear is often the signpost for what we most need to do next, lessons from a 550 mile pilgrimage through Spain, how seeking too much knowledge can be counter productive, and much more with our guest Kamal Ravikant.

Kamal has worked with some of the best minds in Silicon Valley, hiked to one of the highest point in the Himalayas, mediated with tibetan monks, earned a US army infantry patch, and walked 550 miles across Spain. Kamal is the best selling author of several books including Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It and most recently Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart.

We discuss:

How a 550 mile pilgrimage through Spain transformed Kamal's life and taught him many powerful lessons
How everyone who is great goes through some kind of fall before they truly rise and start to shine
The Daily Practice that works to develop self love
How Kamal leveraged neuroplasticity to pull himself out of a deep depression
How Kamal spends 10 mins per day to develop real self love
Why you have to work every day consistently to love yourself
The BEST piece of advice Kamal has ever received in his life
"Life is from the inside out” and how that wisdom transforms everything
Why practice means you have to do it frequently
Why loving yourself is the opposite of being egotistical and selfish
The paradigm shift of life happening to you vs life is happening for you
"Rejection is God’s Protection"
The difference between “success” vs “success and fulfillment”
If something scares you, there is magic on the other side
How are fears from within are often a signal where we need to go, what we need to do next
You have to take a jump first, and then you sprout wings
Why we can’t overcome fear, but we can use it to our advantage
Why gaining knowledge doesn't make you better, but applying it does
How seeking too much knowledge can be counterproductive
How Kamal re-evaluated his definition of success and realized that we are the effort not the outcome
Why Kamal decided to write a fictional self-help book and how stories can help you learn
The amazing power of forgiveness, and why self forgiveness is so important
Why you should ask "If I loved myself, would I do this?"

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The 2016 Recap - Lessons from FBI Hostage Negotiators, Game Theory Experts, Neuroscientists, Expert Poker Players, Entrepreneurs, And More

January 3, 2017

In this episode we sit down and discuss everything we’ve learned in the last year of doing The Science of Success, review some of our favorite lessons and episodes, and talk about all the incredible insights we’ve discovered and share some of the biggest common themes that have emerged from a year of interviews with amazing guests ranging from FBI Hostage Negotiators, Game Theory Experts, Neuroscientists, World Class Poker Players, Amazing Entrepreneurs  and much more!

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Why You Shouldn’t Follow Your Passion & The Rare Value of Deep Work with Cal Newport

December 29, 2016
In this episode we discuss why you should not follow your passion, the two biggest pitfalls people struggle with trying to build a career they love, the incredible importance of DEEP WORK, why deep work is so valuable and how we can cultivate it, as well as how you can structure your lifestyle to attain autonomy and mastery with Cal Newport.
 
Cal is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009. Cal has authored several bestselling books including “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” and “Deep Work” both of which have received deep praise from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and many more. 
 
If you’re looking for some guidance as you plan your new year, listen to this episode! 
 
We discuss:
  • Why following your passion is bad advice
  • The 2 fundamental flaws of the idea that you should follow your passion
  • There’s a huge difference between what makes you enjoy a hobby and what makes you enjoy a profession
  • The core components of having a happy professional life
  • If we don't follow our passions, how do we end up with a job we are passionate about?
  • The simple, but not easy, path to having a passionate career
  • Importance of building up rare and valuable skills by pursuing an apprecenticeship phase
  • How to cultivate skills to attain leverage to get the autonomy and mastery that will make your work meaningful
  • The right question you should ask if you are unsatisfied with your job
  • The 2 biggest pitfalls people run into trying to find and build a career they are passionate about
  • Why you need career capital and how to cultivate it
  • There are many many paths you can take that could lead to a passionate career
  • We go deep on the concept of DEEP WORK
  • We discuss why deep work is increasingly both valuable and rare
  • How you can produce at an elite level while working fewer total hours
  • How Deep Work is a meta skill that fuels other skills 
  • Attention residue and how it can crush your cognitive ability
  • Why Deep work requires zero distraction. A single glance at an inbox or social media account can disrupt an entire deep work session
  • The importance of scheduling deep work far in advance on your calendar
  • Why everyone is an artist, and how that changes what work you should focus on 
  • The danger of focuses on “taxes and paint”
  • Deep work is a SKILL not a HABIT and it gets better with practice
  • How to stretch your ability to concrete
  • Lifestyle changes you can implement that create the foundation for deep focus and deep work
  • How to break the cycle of addiction to novel stimuli 
  • Why you should schedule all your deep work on your calendar ahead of time
  • Exercises that you can implement right now to train your concentration
  • Why Cal recommends that you should embrace boredom
  • Your deep mental addiction to new stimulus and how you can break it
  • And much more!
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How One Simple Act Could Massively Transform Your Brain Chemistry Today - The Power of Kindness with John Wang

December 22, 2016
In this episode we discuss the incredible power of kindness, show how kindness triggers “the helpers high” and causes dopamine and oxytocin to flow through your brain, look at study data from 136 countries showing science behind why kindness is so powerful, we walk through several concrete examples you can use RIGHT NOW to take action and be kind to someone today, and much more with John Wang.
John Wang has spent the past several years researching the scientifically proven benefits that being kind to others has on our own lives. Making us not only happier, but healthier, and even more attractive! John is also the founder of The One Kindness Challenge which transformed a personal experience into a mission to spread the healing powers of kindness. Through unique accessories called kindness bands, The One Kindness Challenge seeks to remind us to commit at least one act of kindness each day and to help spread the message of kindness wherever we go. 
  • How John’s personal challenge transformed into a mission
  • John’s Lessons learned from taking homeless people out to lunch for a year
  • How John’s visit to Nepal after the Nepalese earthquake changed his life
  • The evolutionary purpose of Kindness 
  • Why people aren’t kind often enough
  • Johns experience from practicing radical honesty for an entire year
  • What is the one kindness challenge?
  • We walk through the feelings and experiences of a moment of kindness
  • Kindness is triggered by the Vagus Nerve
  • How kindness triggers “the helpers high” and causes dopamine and oxytocin to flow through your brain
  • Even the smallest acts can trigger the same effect as large acts of kindness
  • Consistency in kindness it he MOST important thing
  • 21 day challenge will transform your life
  • Why kindness is more important now than ever
  • How one Uber ride can change your life 
  • Its not about the words its about making a connection
  • How social media has replaced real connection with fake connections
  • How a single smile could transform someone’s life
  • We dig deep into the science behind kindness
  • How study data from 136 countries showcased the incredible power of kindness
  • We walk through several concrete examples you can use RIGHT NOW to take action and be kind to someone TODAY
  • John shares some incredibly inspiring stories from his own life about sharing and creating kindness
  • Research data showing how kindness literally makes you live longer
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Making Better Decisions, The Sophomore Jinx, & The Illusion of Objectivity with Dr. Richard Nisbett

December 15, 2016
In this episode we discuss the errors people make in their reasoning and how to correct them, we explain a number of statistical principles to help sharpen your thinking and make you a better decision maker, why every $1 spent on a “scared straight” program creates $400 of cost for the criminal justice system, the illusion of objectivity, why you should NOT rely on your intuition and much more with Dr. Richard Nisbett. 
 
Dr. Richard Nisbett is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. He has been awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychology Association, the William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Scientific Achievements, and the Donald T. Campbell Award for Distinguished Research in Social Psychology, among others. He is the author of the recent book Mindware, as well as The Geography of Thought, Think Differently, and Intelligence and How To Get It.
  • The errors people make in their reasoning and how to correct them
  • How to apply the lessons of statistics to making better decisions
  • Is your intelligence fixed and unchangeable?
  • How the industrial revolution massively transformed the way people think
  • We discuss the skills, not on an IQ test, that you must have to be able to function effectively in today’s age
  • Why job interviews are totally useless and have almost no correlation to job performance 
  • How misunderstanding the law of large numbers can lead you to make huge mistakes
  • Why does the rookie of the year almost always have a worse performance the following year?
  • Understanding regression to the mean and how it creates extremely counterintuitive conclusions
  • Why Performance = Skill + Luck 
  • Why deterministic thinking can drastically mislead you in finding the root cause of a phenomena
  • We explain a number of statistical principles to help sharpen your thinking and make you a better decision maker
  • The concept of "base rates" and how they can transform how you think about reality
  • We walk through a number of concrete examples of how misunderstanding statistics can cause people to make terrible decisions
  • If you’re like most people, then like most people, you think you’re not like most people (but you are)
  • Why every $1 spent on a “scared straight” program creates $400 of cost in criminal and incarceration costs 
  • Why the “head start” program is a massive failure and what we could have done about it 
  • How you can use the experimental method to make data driven experiments in your life
  • The illusion of objectivity - Why you should NOT rely on your intuition 
  • How we massively distort our perception of reality and why our perceptual apparatus can easily mislead us
  • How many of the structures we use to understand the world are highly error prone
  • Why we are amazing at pattern detection but horrible at "covariation detection”
  • Why the traditional rorschach test is bogus and doesn't actually produce any results
  • Why you are likely are “horrendously miscalibrated” in your assessments of people’s personalities
If you want to make better decisions - listen to this episode! 
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How You Can Predict The Future Better Than World-Famous Experts - The Art & Science of Risk with Dan Gardner

December 8, 2016
In this episode we discuss the radical mismatch between your intuitive sense of risk and the actual risks you face. We look at why most experts and forecasters are less accurate than dart throwing monkeys. We talk about how to simply and easily dramatically reduce your risk of most major dangers in your life. We explore the results from the “good judgment project” study of more than 20,000 forecasts. We talk about what superforecasters are and how they beat prediction markets, intelligence analysts with classified information, and software algorithms to make the best possible forecasts and MUCH more with Dan Gardner.
 
Dan Gardner is a New York Times best-selling author and a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. His latest book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, which he co-authored with Philip Tetlock. Superforecasting was chosen as one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist, Bloomberg, and Amazon. Dan is also the author of Future Babble and Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear and previously worked as a policy advisor to the Premier of Ontario and a journalist with the Ottawa Citizen. 
  • How and why people make flawed judgements about risk
  • The radical mismatch between our intuitive sense of risk and the actual risks we face
  • Why we are the safest, healthiest, wealthiest people to live on planet earth (and we don't realize it)
  • Why we focus on vivid, dramatic risks, and ignore the real dangers in our lives
  • How to simply and easily dramatically reduce your risk of most major dangers in your life
  • The power of “meta cognition,” what it is, and why it’s so important
  • Lessons you can learn from the mega successful investor George Soros
  • Why most forecasters are less accurate than monkeys throwing darts
  • The difference between foxes and hedgehogs (and why you never want to be one of them)
  • The inverse correlation between fame and prediction accuracy
  • What cancer diagnosis shows about how averse people are to uncertainty
  • The universal principles of good judgement
  • The importance of intellectual humility and intellectual curiosity
  • Why certainty is an illusion and nothing is ever certain
  • Why everything is a question of degrees of maybe (probabilistic thinking)
  • The results from the “good judgement project” study of more than 20,000 forecasts
  • What superforecasters are and how they beat prediction markets, intelligence analysts with classified information, and software algorithms  to make the best possible forecasts
  • The differences between these “superforecasters” and regular forecasters
  • The importance of being “actively open minded"
  • Why you should unpack smaller questions & looking things like base rates
  • How to use “fermi estimates” to solve tough and challenging problems
  • Why the growth mindset had a huge impact on positive ability to forecast
Need to do some planning for next year? Listen to this episode!
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Uncover the Root of Your Pain, How to Smash Perfectionism, Love Yourself, and Live a Richer Life with Megan Bruneau

December 1, 2016
In this episode we discuss why the “happiness” movement has done us a disservice and sometimes makes things worse, how perfectionism creates an illusion of control and distorts your reality, how to become aware of the critical inner voice at the root of your pain and unhealthy habits, the incredible power of self compassion, and much more with Megan Bruneau.
 
Megan Bruneau is a psychotherapist, wellness coach, writer, podcast host and creator of oneshrinksperspective.com After years of perfectionism-fueled depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, she discovered how to like herself, take risks, and find success without beating herself up to get there. 
 
  • Why Megan advocates a holistic approach to mental health
  • Why the “happiness” movement has done us a disservice and sometimes makes things worse
  • How to become aware of the critical inner voice at the roof of your pain and unhealthy habits
  • What your “secondary emotions" are and why its so important to pay close attention to them
  • How you internalize self judgement from your childhood experiences
  • You can have expectations about mood not just performance and that can create suffering
  • The importance of giving yourself permission to feel feelings even when they are uncomfortable
  • What your physiological symptoms look like when you experience a fight or flight response
  • How to build tolerance and grow your “emotional muscle”
  • The tools you can use (with a concrete example) to stop a downward spiral of anxiety
  • Things you might do that actually make a negative emotional response worse
  • The importance of making space for difficult feelings ( through mindfulness )
  • How to have deep self compassion and treat yourself with kindness
  • What exactly to say to yourself when you’re dealing with difficult emotions
  • Why you should treat yourself like a dear friend who is suffering
  • How the “self esteem” movement screwed you up and created many of your emotional challenges
  • What happens when your self worth is dependent on being better than other people
  • How Megan defines perfectionism (and why you might be a perfectionist without even realizing it)
  • The critical importance of self compassion and how you can practice it
  • The importance of understanding the concept of "common humanity"
  • We define mindfulness and its core components, and discuss how to practice it
  • Why painful feelings don't make you broken, but are a natural part of the human experience
  • The huge downsides of having your self worth tied to your achievements
  • Why your fear of difficult and uncomfortable emotions is the roof of your suffering
  • The exact internal dialogue you should use if you constantly put too much pressure on yourself
  • The massive danger of “globalizing” negative experiences
  • Why giving up high expectations actually enhances your performance
  • Why you should change for your focus from being productive to focusing on what’s meaningful
  • How you can “become friends” with difficult emotions
  • And MUCH more!
 
If you are frustrated, suffering, or struggling with uncomfortable emotions, listen to this episode!
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The Science of Power - How to Acquire It, What Makes You Lose it with Dr. Dacher Keltner

November 23, 2016
In this episode we discuss lessons from 25 years of studying the evolution of human emotion, examine whether the Machiavellian concept of power still works, explore the surprising scientific data on how you can acquire power, and look closely at the foundation of enduring power from studies of military units on how to achieve and maintain power with Dr. Dacher Keltner.
 
Dr. Dacher Keltner is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. He is also the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good, and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct.
  • Lessons from 25 years of studying the evolution of human emotion
  • What the hard science says about the powerful impact of gratitude
  • Why you’re interpretation of “survival of the fittest” is totally wrong
  • Why emotion is not something to “remove” or rid ourselves of
  • How emotions guide social behaviors in many very important ways
  • Does the Machveiallian conception of power still work?
  • Studies in military organizations, schools, show about how to effectively wield power
  • The surprising scientific data on how you can acquire and maintain power 
  • We discuss in depth if power is given or if power is seized 
  • What are the foundations of enduring power?
  • importance of empathy and building strong social ties rather than serving your narrow self interest
  • The power paradox and why the more powerful you get, the harder it is to stay powerful
  • The importance of focusing on other people
  • How do we create organizations and societies that prevent the abuses of power?
  • We review and share resources for practical steps to implement all of these lessons
  • The massive impact and power of touch to communicate emotions
  • The shocking science of how half a second of touch can communicate almost every major emotion
  • The hilarious gender differences in Dr. Keltner’s emotional touch research
  • How to cultivate gratitude and awe
  • The simple power of just saying thank you
  • The new collaborative definition of power and how its radically different from what you may think of when you think of power
  • And much more!
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The Surprising Truth Research Reveals About What Motivates You with Dr. Dan Ariely

November 18, 2016
In this episode we discuss one of the most interesting results ever found in the psychological research of education, why pleasure maximization is a flawed model for human understanding, we go deep into a number of research examples, discuss the massive (and counterintuitive) difference between motivating top performers and bottom performers, and much more with Dr. Dan Ariely!
 
Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at  Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and also the co-founder of BEworks. Dan's talks on TED have been watched over 7.8 million times. He is the author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both of which became New York Times best sellers, and he has a newly released book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations. 
  • How being badly burned and spending 3 years in the hospital radically changed Dr. Dan Ariely's life
  • How good intentions can go terribly wrong in changing behavior
  • The two flawed models of motivation and why neither works
  • I get interviewed by Dr Dan Ariely - he turns the mic on me and starts grilling me!
  • The difference between momentary joy and lasting purpose
  • Why motivation is not about YOU
  • The critical importance of creating, meaning, improvement, and having an impact
  • How money can demotivate and skew your motivation
  • We get into the weeds on some fascinating experiments Dr. Dan Ariely has conducted about how money (doesn’t) motivate us
  • Why bonuses don’t actually work
  • The massive (and counterintuitive) difference between motivating top performers and bottom performers
  • Why it’s much better to analyze the BARRIERS to good performance and remove them
  • One of the most interesting results ever found in the psychological research of education
  • Why pleasure maximization is a flawed model for human understanding
  • We dig into the the science of motivation itself
  • The difference between social norms and market norms (and why it’s important)
  • Why you would rather move a couch for free, than get paid $5 to do it
  • Ideas for how we can use psychology to change America’s education system
  • Why suicide rate among physicians are climbing rapidly 
  • The Crazy Day Care Story (and why its important) 
  • How effort and complexity create affinity for things you work on
  • Why Dr. Dan Ariely and I both love legos! 
  • We go through half a dozen hilarious and very counter-intuitive findings from Dr. Dan Ariely's research
  • We discuss the quest for symbolic immortality (and why it matters to you)
 
If you want to deeply understand how motivation really works - listen to this episode!
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How Two Simple Words Can Massively Shift Your Perspective & Ten Superpowers to Transform Your World with Life is Good Founder John Jacobs

November 10, 2016
In this episode we discuss how our guest went from being “wildly unsuccessful”, sleeping in a used van, to launching a massive brand, the power of simple gratitude during the toughest challenges of our lives, the transformational superpowers that can change your life, the massive perspective shift you can grain from two simple words, and much more with John Jacobs.
 
John is the co-founder and chief creative optimist for Life is Good as well as the author of Life Is Good: The Book. He and his company have previously been featured on CNN, CNBC, Nightline, Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,and much more.
 
  • The ten superpowers that can change your life
  • What drove John to find a way to combine art and business to launch an amazing company
  • How Life is Good went from being “wildly unsuccessful”, sleeping in a used van, to launching a massive brand
  • Why its often the people that face the biggest adversity and trauma that embrace the real meaning of “life is good"
  • How Life is Good takes a stand against the negativity in the news media 
  • The incredible power of simple gratitude during the toughest challenges of our lives
  • How to focus on optimism without ignoring the negative experiences in your life
  • How the story of one person can transform your experience 
  • The Amazing story of how one act of hate created a wave of love
  • How John embarks on his mission to “spread the power of optimism"
  • Even when facing hardest adversity - you can consciously shift your mind to the positive and grow good instead of being consumed by the negative
  • The incredible power of optimism and strategies to become more optimistic
  • Why you should never say you “have to” do something (and what you should say instead)
  • Incredible, simple perspective shift you can get by changing a SINGLE WORD when you find yourself complaining
  • The Rule of “Yes, And,” how it can have a huge impact on your life & unleash your creativity
  • The real depth behind the concept of “life is good”and why its OK to acknowledge the painful parts of your life
  • The importance of taking a few moments to connect with someone
  • Why fun is “part of the main course” and not your dessert
  • How to find simple ways to weave joy into your life
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Seven Catalysts To Creating Progress and Becoming A More Effective Leader with Dr. Teresa Amabile

November 3, 2016
In this episode we look at the single biggest factor that impacts your performance at work, the 7 major catalysts for creating progress in your life, we dig deep into the data to look closely at the correlations between mental states and actual performance in terms of creativity, technical skill, productivity and much more with Dr. Teresa Amabile.

Dr. Amabile is a Professor and Director of Research at Harvard Business School. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford. Her research investigates how life inside organizations can influence people and their performance. She has published over 100 articles in top scholarly journal and is the co-author of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, as well as Creativity in Context and Growing up Creative.

We discuss:
How offering a reward can undermine people’s intrinsic motivation to do something
We dig deep into the nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations that formed the foundation of Teresa’s research
We look closely at the correlations between mental states and actual performance in terms of creativity, technical skill, productivity and more 
How positive and negative work environments arise within organizations 
Your “inner work life” and why its so important (and you may not even be aware of it)
How external motivators can accidentally wipe out your true motive for working and achieving your goals
Why “Making Progress on Meaningful Work” is the single biggest factor impacting performance
An important and powerful tool that managers can use to help people do better in their work and have better experiences every day
The "intrinsic motivation principle of creativity” and why it matters to you! 
The largest disconnect between what managers think motivates their employees and what the research actually shows that motivates them
The 7 catalysts to creating progress in your life
The importance of having clear goals (what you’re doing and why it matters)
Why creating a culture where people learn from problems, failures, and mistakes is vital to success
The importance of control and autonomy in your work
How to create emotional support for your employees and coworkers
How small words of kindness and understanding can make a huge impact on productivity
The importance of setting daily goals for yourself - something you want to get done that is really core to your work
The importance of measurement and tracking your progress with a daily progress journal
The enormous impact of even a tiny win on your day
And much more!

If you want to master motivation for yourself and others, listen to this episode!
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Trading Your House For A Tulip, Your Love Life, And What It All Has To Do With Making Better Financial Decisions with Dr. Daniel Crosby

October 27, 2016
In this episode we explore how you can learn from dating mistakes to make better financial choices, the most expensive words in investing (and how you can avoid them), why highly qualified experts are wrong more than 94% of the time, the importance of focusing on process vs outcome and much more with Dr. Daniel Crosby.

Dr. Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert as well the author of New York Times Best-Seller "Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management as well as “Laws of Wealth: Psychology  and the secret to investing success.” He was named named one of the “12 Thinkers to Watch” by Monster.com, a “Financial Blogger You Should Be Reading” by AARP and listed on the Top 40 Under 40 by Investment News.com. 

We discuss:
  • How Daniel works to integrate the messiness of human psychology into fields like economics and finance
  • How your emotional state colors your perception of risk
  • How you can learn from dating mistakes to make better financial choices
  • The most expensive words in investing (and how you can avoid them) 
  • The insane “tulip” craze and what it says about financial markets
  • Why in our efforts to manage risk we often create the outcomes we are trying to avoid
  • How you control what matters most (often without realizing it)
  • The importance of focusing on process vs outcome
  • Why “you are not special” and how that advice can save you a lot of money! 
  • Why experts are wrong 94% of the time
  • Why really successful people automate their day and free up their cognitive power for more important tasks
  • How to be aware of the biases impacting our thinking and get a second opinion
  • The importance of being “not stupid” instead of being smart
  • Existential boundary experiences and how they can transform you
  • How to break out of the glorified business of our daily lives and embrace the inevitability of our own mortality
  • 2 simple and actionable steps you can take right now to improve your personal finance and investment knowledge
  • And much more!
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Influence Anyone With Secret Lessons Learned From The World’s Top Hostage Negotiators with Former FBI Negotiator Chris Voss

October 20, 2016
In this episode we discuss the secret lessons hostage negotiators around the world use to win the day, how to understand and influence people’s emotional drivers, the two words that can transform any negotiation, the biggest hallmarks of powerful master negotiators and much more with the FBI’s former lead international kidnapping negotiator Chris Voss.
Chris Voss is the founder and CEO of the Black Swan Group, an adjunct professor at Georgetown and University of Southern California. During his 24 year term with the FBI where he most recently served as the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator, Voss worked approximately 150 kidnappings worldwide, from the Middle East to Haiti including a number of high-profile kidnappings. Voss has been trained by the FBI, Scotland Yard and Harvard in the art of negotiation and negotiated with likes of terrorists, hostage takers, and bank robbers.
We discuss:
  • FBI’s behvaioral change stairway they use to negotiate with terrorists and hostage takers
  • Why emotional intelligence is at the forefront of business success today
  • How to leverage “tactical empathy” in your life to achieve the results you want
  • How to create leverage to influence anyone in the world by understanding their emotional drivers
  • Why you should never be mean to someone who could hurt you by doing nothing
  • Why understanding is NOT the same as agreement and why that is important
  • The biggest barrier to negotiation success is not complexity - its overcoming the awkwardness
  • How repeating the last 1-3 words someone said can have a huge impact
  • Why winning in a negotiation is not the same as beating the other side
  • The incredible importance of listening and how you can cultivate “active listening"
  • The power and importance of open ended and clarifying questions
  • How to draw out the hidden cards from the other side of a negotiation
  • The secrets hostage negotiators AROUND THE WORLD use regardless of cultural dynamics
  • The two most important words in any negotiation
  • The three different types of negotiator and the strengths and weaknesses of each
  • How changing one question totally transformed the kidnapping negotiation for Jose Escobar 
  • Why Chris would “never lie to anyone he’s not going to kill"
  • Why Chris hates compromise in any negotiation
  • The “F Word” in negotiations and why you should be careful with it
  • One of the biggest hallmarks of powerful negotiators 
  • And much more! 
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How To Execute on Huge Goals, Take Action, and Create The Results You Want with Neil Patel

October 13, 2016
In this episode we talk about execution, how to break down big goals into actionable steps, how and why Neil hired a “mama” for himself, the “ten minute rule” that could help you achieve big productivity gains and how to optimize your life to free up huge amounts of time with entrepreneur Neil Patel.
Neil is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives.
We discuss:
  • How to break huge goals into small bite sized tasks that you can quickly and easily execute
  • How Neil defines success and why money wont make you happy
  • The "10 minute rule" and how it can help you achieve big results
  • “Hacks” that Neil recommends for those who want to climb the corporate ladder
  • How to go from A to Z by skipping B, C, D etc and getting straight to the result
  • Why you don’t have to take the traditional path the everyone else does to get what you want in life
  • The strategy Neil uses to pitch huge deals to corporate executives
  • How to optimize your life to save time and free your time up
  • The rules that Neil uses to improve and use his time more efficiently
  • How Neil hired a “mom” to cook him breakfast and do his laundry (and why!)
  • How to manufacture and generate luck for yourself
  • Why shouldn’t “rent your dreams"
  • How to take action on the things that matter and actually create results, so you can stop spinning your wheels
  • And much more!
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How to Overcome Trauma, Mental Health Struggles, and Learning Issues to Achieve World Changing Results with Dr. Gail Saltz

October 6, 2016
In this episode we explore the link between trauma, mental health, learning disabilities and genius, look at a number of historical figures and how they harnessed challenges like depression and ADHD to achieve world-changing results, and examine the practical steps you can take to overcome struggles today with Dr. Gail Saltz.

Dr. Gail Saltz is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell School of medicine and a psychoanalyst with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. She is a columnist, bestselling author, podcast host and television commentator and one of the nation’s foremost go-to experts on a variety of psychological and mental health issues, having appeared on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, The View, Dateline, 20/20, Primetime, Today, CNN, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, The Oprah Winfrey Show and more.

We discuss:
  • How people like Vincent Van Gogh and Abraham Lincoln harnessed their mental issues to achieve success
  • Deconstructing the “psychobiographies” of some of the greatest achievers in the world (DaVinci, Einstein, Lincoln, etc)
  • Close to half of Americans struggle with some sort of mental health issue
  • What people who are embarrassed about seeking help can do
  • Why “mental illness” is often a STRENGTH and the greatest achievements are a often a DIRECT RESULT of struggles with issues like dyslexia, anxiety, depression, etc
  • How Abraham Lincoln struggled his whole life with depression and why it gave him the empathy to reshape history
  • How Einstein overcome crippling ADHD to change physics
  • Practical steps that someone can take who is struggling with anxiety and depression right now
  • How to hone-in on your strengths and leverage them
  • How we get caught in defeating stories that we tell ourselves
  • How to identify and “re-write” self-defeating stories that we tell ourselves
  • A few actionable insights into how to improve and build relationships from one of the best sex and relationships experts in the world
  • How to LISTEN better, improve communication, and build better relationships
  • And more!

If you think you have a challenge you can’t overcome - listen to this episode! 
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What Makes People Turn Evil, Time Paradoxes, and The Power of Heroism with Dr. Philip Zimbardo

September 29, 2016
In this episode we discuss how to create evil in a research laboratory, what makes people “turn evil”, we examine the definition of heroism, dig into the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, explore time paradoxes, and much more with the legendary Dr. Philip Zimbardo. 
Dr. Zimbardo is an internationally recognized scholar, educator, researcher and media personality, winning numerous awards and honors in each of these domains. He has been a Stanford University professor since 1968, where he conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment. His career is noted for giving psychology away to the public through his popular PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology, along with many text and trade books, among his 500+ publications. He was recently president of the American Psychological Association.
We discuss:
  • How to create evil in a research laboratory
  • The different kinds of evil
  • Is there a fixed line between good and evil?
  • What is the definition of heroism (and how its distinct from altruism)
  • How Dr. Z defines evil (and why thats important)
  • What happens when you put only good people in a really bad situation?
  • The inside take on the famous Stanford Prison Experiment
  • How a situation can create an emotional breakdown in a normal, healthy, smart person in less than 36 hours
  • The social processes that can grease the slippery slope of evil
  • How normal people can transform into monsters
  • The substantial risks of dehumanization
  • The power of the heroic imagination
  • How teachers can bring the best out in their students
  • The time paradox and how we live with vastly different time perspectives 
  • How conflicts derive from people’s differing time perspectives
If you want to hear from a titan of psychology about the inner workings of the human mind - listen to this episode! 
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How to Out-Think Your Competition and Become a Master Strategic Thinker with Dr. Colin Camerer

September 22, 2016
In this episode we discuss the intersection between neuroscience and game theory, ask whether you are smarter than a Chimpanzee, examine how simple mental judgments can be massively wrong, explain the basics of game theory, and dig deep into strategic thinking with Dr. Colin Camerer. 
Colin is the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology. A former child prodigy Colin received his B.A in quantitative studies from John Hopkins University at the age of 17, followed by an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago at the age of 19, and finally a Ph.D in behavioral decision theory from the University of Chicago at the age of 21. Colin research is focused on the interface between cognitive psychology and economics. 
We discuss: 
  • How to out-think (and think one level ahead of) your competition
  • How we make simple mental judgments that go wrong
  • The fundamentals of game theory and how you can practically apply it to your life
  • Are you smarter than a chimpanzee? (the answer may surprise you)
  • The psychological limits on strategic thinking
  • How game theory cuts across multiple disciplines of knowledge from evolution to corporate auctions
  • The concept of a nash equilibrium and why its important
  • The fascinating intersections between psychology and game theory
  • The game theory behind rock paper scissors (and the optimal strategy)
  • Why people don’t think strategically (and why it matters)
  • Discover if you re you a level zero thinker or a “Level K” thinker
  • Why working memory has a strong correlation between making strategic decisions and cognitive flexibility
  • The fascinating results behind the “false belief test"
  • How to make strategic inferences from the knowledge that other minds have
  • And much more! 
If you want to make better decisions or have always been fascinated by game theory - listen to this episode!
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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck with Mark Manson

September 14, 2016
In this episode we discuss how to escape the feedback loop from hell, the paradoxical idea of embracing negative experiences, why struggle creates meaning, how discover the false values underpinning your worldview, and how to cultivate the ability to sustain and handle adversity with Mark Manson.

Mark is a blogger, author and entrepreneur. Most well-known for his site markmanson.net, where he writes personal development advice that doesn't suck. He also wrote a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. It doesn't suck, either.
We discuss:
  • Alan Watt’s Backwards Law (and why its so important)
  • How to escape the Feedback Loop From Hell
  • The paradoxical idea of embracing negative experiences
  • How your mind invents problems for you every day
  • Why Mark gives the advice “don’t try"
  • How to release the judgement of your own emotions 
  • The difference between indifference and “not giving a f*ck"
  • The biggest “false values” you cling to that create unhappiness in your life
  • Why "entitlement" is the idea that you deserve happiness and don’t have to struggle for it (and how that causes suffering)
  • How to cultivate the ability to sustain and handle adversity
  • Why the key question to living a better life is NOT “what do I want out of life?"
  • Why struggle creates meaning and its important to feel bad sometimes
  • What champions and world class performers focus on every day
  • Why you should listen to Disappointment Panda
  • Why pain is required for growth
  • And much more!
If you are dealing with a challenge and can't figure out what to do next - listen to this episode! 

Warning this episode has some profanity! 
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Master Your Mental Game Like a World Champion with Performance Coach Jared Tendler

August 31, 2016
In this episode we explore the mental game of world champion performers, examine the emotional issues preventing you from achieving what you want to achieve, how those issues happen in predictable patterns that you can discover and solve, look at why people choke under pressure, and discuss how to build mental toughness with mental game coach Jared Tendler.
Jared is an internationally recognized mental game coach. His clients include world champion poker players, the #1 ranked pool player in the world, professional golfers and financial traders. He is the author of two highly acclaimed books, The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, and host of the popular podcast “The Mental Game.”
We discuss:
-The emotional issues preventing you from achieving what you want are happening in predictable patterns, and you can discover them! 
-Why people choke (and what to do about it)
-How to cultivate mental toughness over time
-Why the typical sports psychology advice doesn’t work
-Lessons from 500+ of the best poker players in the world of dealing with mental game
-How high expectations create self sabotage
-Why emotions are the messengers and not the root cause of performance issues
-Why mistakes are an inevitable and important part of the learnign process
-The yin and yang of performance and learning
-The characteristics of peak mental performers
-How to deal with “tilt" in poker and the different kinds of “tilt"
-How to use confidence intervals to deal with uncertainty 
-And much more!
If you want to improve your mental game - listen to this episode!
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Improving Sleep, Giving Up Alcohol, and Reading a Book a Day with James Swanwick

August 24, 2016
In this episode we explore one of the biggest things disrupting your sleep, examine strategies for getting a better night’s rest, dig into sleep cycles, talk about the 30 Day No Alcohol challenge and break down how to read books more effectively with James Swanwick.
James is an Australian-American entrepreneur, former SportsCenter anchor on ESPN and host of The James Swanwick Show podcast. He is the creator of the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge, which helps people reduce or quit alcohol; and creator of blue-blocking glasses Swannies which improve your sleep. Forbes magazine voted him one of Top 25 Networking Experts. Swanwick has interviewed celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We discuss: 
-The #1 reason you don’t get a good night’s sleep
-Melatonin and your sleep cycle
-The importance of a good night’s sleep 
-Why you shouldn’t read your smartphone in bed
-The 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge 
-How to build rapport and have a conversation with anyone
-How to read a book in 15 minutes
-Why you retain only 10% of what you read (and what to do about it)
-The 3 main lessons in radical honesty
-How to build a framework to retain everything you learn 
-Why knowledge is NOT power
-We discuss "social skydiving" and how you can do it
-And Much More! 
If you want to get a better night’s sleep - check out this episode!
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How To Double Your Creative Output in Fifteen Minutes with Tom Corson-Knowles

August 17, 2016
In this episode we explore strategies to jump start your creativity, how to think about the definition of success, how to retain the knowledge from all of the books you read, and how to be a better writer with best-selling author and publishing expert Tom Corson-Knowles.

Tom is a serial entrepreneur, blogger and international bestselling author. He started his first business at age 13 and is the founder of TCK Publishing whose mission is to help every client earn a full-time income as an author. Tom’s bestselling books include Secrets of the Six-Figure Author, The Kindle Publishing Bible, and The Kindle Writing Bible, among others.

In this episode we discuss:
  • Why creativity is a learned skill and not an innate talent
  • Why creativity is important for everyone, not just “starving artists"
  • 3 simple strategies you can use to improve you creativity right now
  • The incredible importance of “thinking time"
  • The two parts of the creative process
  • How to improve your writing skills
  • How you can double your creative output in 15 minutes per day
  • How to stop yourself from pressing the gas and the brakes at the same time when trying to create
  • And much more!
If you want to boost your creativity - check out this episode! 
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