130 Optimal Interviews
30 minute chats with some amazing teachers. Discover Big Ideas that shaped
their lives + day-to-day practices they rock.
The Art of Connection
Michael Gelb is one of the world’s leading creativity teachers. He’s also a qi gong and aikido master who wrote one of my favorite books: “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci.” In this book, he teaches us the art of creating connection. Big Ideas we explore include how to optimize our ability to connect (practice with the little moments!), The Pygmalion Effect (aka the self-fulfilling prophecy), the importance of centering for conflict resolution, and how our addiction to digital devices (ADD) is leading to attention deficit disorder (ADD) which is leading to troubles in connecting and what to do about it.
Latest from Interviews
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.
Want to get so good they can't ignore you? (Me, too!) Cal Newport tells us we need to shift from a passion mindset to a CRAFTSMAN mindset as we become true masters of our craft and create a ton of value in the world. We do "that" and we'll accumulate what Call calls "career capital" that we can cash in for the ideal setup. Another Big Idea: Figure out how you can deliberately practice!