Inspirational, intimate and disarmingly-unfiltered conversations about living a fully-engaged, fiercely-connected and meaning-drenched life. From iconic world-shakers like Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Sir Ken Robinson, Seth Godin and Gretchen Rubin to everyday guests, every story matters.
Jen Sincero | Badass Habits
Jen Sincero wants you to be a badass in all parts of life. And, as we head into the end of the year and start thinking about what we want to make happen, she’s doubling down on building badass habits. A past guest, Jen is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller You Are a Badass, which has sold over three million copies, is available in over 35 languages, and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 4 years. Her follow-ups, You Are a Badass at Making Money - also a New York Times bestseller - and You Are a Badass Every Day are written with the same signature in-your-face kindness, down-to-earth humor and blunt practicality that made You Are a Badass a mega-bestseller and Jen a celebrated voice in the world of self-development.
And, now she’s sharing that same irreverent, revealing and deeply-useful lens on the world of habits. I’ve studied a lot on habits and read pretty much everything written on them, from popular books to research. I confess I kinda thought I knew what there was to know, but Jen introduced opened my eyes to ideas that I’d never thought about before, especially in the way she offers them up. We go deep into all of this in today’s conversation, along with what it’s like to write books that tap into the zeitgeist and explode you into the hearts and minds of millions, and how that can both be a giant blessing and also a bit challenging.
You can find Jen Sincero at:
Website : https://jensincero.com/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/jensincero/
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Michele Harper | Beauty in Breaking
I first heard about my guest today, Michele Harper, when stumbled upon an essay she published earlier this year, entitled When This War is Over, May of Us Will Leave Medicine. It was about the reality of her day-to-day life as an ER doc during the early days of the pandemic. It was a devastating, powerful, deeply human read. That led me to her beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking, yet hopeful New York Times bestselling memoir, The Beauty in Breaking. (https://bookshop.org/books/the-beauty-in-breaking-a-memoir/9780525537380)
Graduating from Harvard and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, for her entire career, Michele has sought emergency medicine positions in hospitals that serve under-resourced communities, often communities of color. She is not just a devout physician and healer, but also an advocate for dignity, equality and change. The seeds for this path were planted very early in life, though a blend of family trauma and deep personal conviction that has compelled her to not just take care of those in need, but also champion their humanity along the way.
You can find Michele Harper at:
Website : https://micheleharper.com/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/micheleharpermd/
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Matthew McConaughey | Just Keep Livin'
Five days into filming his first movie - Dazed & Confused - some 28 years ago, Matthew McConaughey’s dad, a towering force in his life, suddenly died. Matthew had to figure out a way to keep showing up, to keep going. His mantra became “just keep livin,” which has become a guiding ethos, a sort of lens through which he lives his life.
Now, nearly three decades later, an Academy Award-winning actor, icon in the industry, married father of three, a master raconteur, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and endless creator of moments and adventures, Matthew lives life as an eternal amateur. Fiercely himself in all parts of life, ever-curious and open, he seeks experiences, wisdom, and insights, always learning, always asking, always seeking, that give him some semblance of understanding what makes life worth living.
Much of his journey, his take on life, fatherhood, acting, love, family and contribution is offered up in his beautiful and moving new memoir, Greenlights (https://greenlights.com/). It’s a philosophical and poetic window into the experiences and moments that shaped him and continue to awaken him to what matters most, drawn from 50 years of living, and some 36 years of diaries.
That quest - to figure what a life well-lived looks like - is one we both have in common, and it’s probably why in today’s conversation we jump into the deep end of the pool fast, exploring everything from nature and solitude to family, love, struggle, character, uncertainty, creation, the sacred nature of being in the spaces in between devastation and wild success, how the moment we’re all in has shifted his thinking and what the future we all being called to co-create might look like, and so much more.
That’s what you’ll hear. But here’s what was happening that you couldn’t see. As we spoke, Matthew sat at his desk, reading glasses on, and pen and paper in hand. Minutes into the conversation, he began writing, taking notes, regularly jotting down ideas, phrases, and insights, piecing together puzzles in real-time. Ever the seeker, a perpetual student of life, present in the moment, and open to whatever it might bring.
You can find Matthew McConaughey at: Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/officiallymcconaughey/)
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Ozan Varol | Think Like a Rocket Scientist
Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning professor and bestselling author.
A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ozan Varol grew up in a family of no English speakers. He learned English as a second language and moved to the United States by himself at 17 to attend Cornell University and major in astrophysics. While there, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers project that sent two rovers–Spirit and Opportunity–to Mars. He built stuff that went to the red planet and wrote code that snaps photos of the Martian surface. He was on track to built a powerhouse career as a literal rocket scientist.
Leaving Cornell, though, Ozan pivoted and went to law school, graduating first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in his law school’s history, then became a law professor, teaching at Lewis & Clark Law School in his twenties, becoming the youngest tenured professor. While teaching law, there was always a deeper driver, the rocket scientist in him was on a mission to share the scientific process and mindset to influence others to make giant leaps on Earth.
He shares philosophy in the wonderful book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life (https://tinyurl.com/yyr3g6kf)
You can find Ozan Varol at: Website (http://weeklycontrarian.com/)
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Sara Hendren | A Better-Designed World
Sara Hendren was drawn to painting as a kid, studied it in college, then began to build her body of work and career as a fine artist, focusing on painting. Then, a series of experiences sent her in what, from the outside looking in, may have seemed like a very different direction, but from the inside looking out, what a completely organic and aligned expression of her blended passion to see, to create, to design and to be of service.
Now an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering, Sara describes herself as a humanist in tech, focusing on the intersection between disability - or the perception of it - and what she calls the built world, or how the world is designed to either support or dismantle freedom and autonomy based on our bodies and their capabilities. And if you’re thinking “well, this isn’t about me,” you’ll quickly discover how well-intended, yet misguided that assumption is likely to be. It’s about all of us.
Sara’s work over the last decade includes collaborative public art and social design that engages the human body, technology, and the politics of disability: things like a lectern for short stature or a ramp for wheelchair dancing. She also co-founded the Accessible Icon Project, co-created a digital archive of low-tech prosthetics, and her work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, The Vitra Design Museum, the Seoul Museum of Art and other venues and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Her new book is What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World. (https://tinyurl.com/yy8r8wwc)
You can find Sara Hendren at: Website (http://sarahendren.com/)
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Tal Ben-Shahar | Happier, Even Now
Growing up in Israel, Tal Ben-Shahar wanted to be the best squash player in the world. He turned pro at a young age and quickly rose up the ranks. Then a strange thing happened, he achieved his dream, but crashed hard, realizing it didn’t make him feel how he thought it would. That experience set in motion a lifelong journey into the science of happiness that led him to study at Harvard, then eventually teach what became the most popular course at Harvard on happiness.
Tal is now a bestselling author and lecturer, working with executives in multinational corporations, everyday humans, and at-risk populations exploring leadership, happiness, education, innovation, ethics, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, and mindfulness. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world. Tal is a serial entrepreneur and is most recently the co-founder and chief learning officer of Happiness Studies Academy, bringing together the thinking of the world's leading scholars and the latest scientific research on happiness, then educating leaders who are themselves dedicated to personal, interpersonal, and communal flourishing.
You can find Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar at:
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Happy to know it.
Great insights into business and life
Worth listening to and thinking about.