130 Optimal Interviews
30 minute chats with some amazing teachers. Discover Big Ideas that shaped
their lives + day-to-day practices they rock.
James Clear has a super-popular website (jamesclear.com). Millions of people visit it every month and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. After reading this book, I can see why. He’s a great writer and distills the essence of habit formation into, well, its fundamental components—the “atomic” structure if you will—while showing us how those TINY little incremental improvements add up to MIGHTY results. I rarely say a book is a must-read but this one’s as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include: The math behind 1% gains compounding over a year (and a decade!), navigating the Plateau of Latent Potential (ever given up on a habit? Take note!), the importance (and etymology) of our Identity (get this: it *literally* means 'repeated being ness'), The 4 Laws of Behavior Change (remember: cue + craving + response + reward and... make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying), and the Sorites Paradox (can a single habit change your life?).
Latest from Interviews
John Herdman is the head coach of the Canadian women's national soccer team that won Bronze in London and is off to the Olympics in Rio. In this chat, we explore some of his wisdom on how to cultivate belief, the power of clarity and simplicity, how to deal with adversity (by inviting it in) and what makes the best so great.
Want to learn about the science of successful learning? Then this is for you. Big Ideas we explore include mastery vs. fluency, the power of active retrieval (aka “the testing effect”), explaining stuff in your own words and the wisdom in the adage that whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times journalist (and Harvard MBA) who wrote the best-selling book The Power of Habit in which he walked us through the science of building better habits. In Smarter Faster Better, he walks us through the science of being productive so we can be smarter, faster and better at everything we do.
Amy Cuddy is awesome. Her TED talk is the 2nd most popular ever. Learn the science of cultivating your personal power to bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges. Big Ideas we explore: self-affirmation theory, priming + nudges, the magic of expanding your body to increase your power, iHunch (how’s yours?), and the boldest you.
Black holes. Just contemplating the sheer, fierce power of them is awe-inspiring, eh? Isaiah Hankel tells us that although physicists used to think that everything got destroyed in a black hole, now they believe that it’s less about destruction and more about *transformation.* And shines some light on the power of focusing on our purpose with black hole intensity.
Dennis Mannion is the CEO of the Detroit Pistons. He's one of the few (if not the only) people to be a top executive in the top 4 sports leagues in the US (MLB + NFL + NHL + NBA). He's also an incredibly cool and inspiring human being. In this chat, we explore everything from how he discovered his purpose to some of the biggest lessons in leadership and peak performance he's picked up in the last 35+ years at the top of the sports world. Super inspiring. I'm especially fired up by his emphasis on the spiritual and embodiment of the Ideas he's so passionate about. (Plus, I need to step up my rowing game. :) Hope you enjoy!
As the sub-title suggests, The Art of Work is all about “A proven path to discovering what you were meant to do.” Big Ideas we explore include a quick peek at the 7 characteristics of a Calling, why Awareness is so important, why Painful Practice is also super important, why we should be thinking “bridges” not “leaps” as we pursue our calling ad other goodness.