Show cover of Living A Life In Full

Living A Life In Full

“Living a Life in Full” is the conversation you always wanted to have with that person who gave an amazing TED talk, or the author of one your favorite books, or that inspirational Olympian you always wanted to know more about. This show is for the intellectually curious. You want to not just know more about the interesting and the innovative, but also what makes them tick, and maybe even what makes them laugh. It’s graduate-level conversations with those making a difference in the world and the lives of others. This show brings you new ideas and approaches so you can live a life in full. The show is equal parts information and inspiration, but without the aphorisms and pablum. We cover a wide range of topics in an engaging way—from Burning Man to The Renaissance Weekend, from the United Nations to top universities, Nobel Laureates to astronauts—we have an amazing Rolodex. Interviewees are a who’s who of high performance athletes, bestselling authors, high-caliber leaders, world changing humanitarians, innovative researchers, amazing start-up founders, clever life-hackers, paradigm busting thought-leaders and global innovators. Cheers, and thanks, Chris


Rob Schwartz on Life's Greatest Lesson
Over 20 million copies of one of the most famous memoirs of all-time, “Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson” written by Mitch Albom, have been sold since its 1997 publication, and to this day it remains on many a college’s required reading list.  Twenty-eight years after Morrie Schwartz passed away, his son Rob Schwartz, has edited his father’s last work, and posthumously published what has become a bestselling new book, “The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully.”  Rob is a journalist and entrepreneur, having founded a number of companies, both in Japan and the US, and held executive positions in others. He’s produced numerous film and music projects with international teams. His areas of expertise include the entertainment industries in Asia, the US, and Europe. His projects often have a special emphasis on music, film, online business development, and developing musical artists’ careers, as well as working for Billboard in Asia.  He has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, PBS NewsHour, NBC10 Boston, and in WebMD, Psychology Today, Reader’s Digest, and People magazine. Rob is currently one of the producers of Onetopia, a benefit music festival. I asked Rob what it was like growing-up in the in the Schwartz household along with his work and background, and what took him to Asia and his work there as a founder, journalist, and in production.  The book’s been described as a profound, poetic, and poignant masterpiece of living and aging joyfully and creatively, but he first starts off examining ageism and explaining how poisonous it is and how wrong it is. In his reflections he confronts the false notion that people are somehow made less by the aging process, and his coining the term “age casting,” as an aspect of ageism and diminishing a person’s value solely based on their age. We wrapped-up our conversation with him sharing a bit about his efforts in producing a global benefit festival dedicated to mental health and has a playlist on Spotify. He’s also working on the development of Holocaust survivors’ story as a documentary as well.  Rob’s perspectives, work and life serve as an inspiration to us all to live our lives in full.
99:14 7/1/24
Alex Tapscott on the Promise of Digital Disruption
When you think of modern technologies that aren’t gadgets and gizmos, you probably think of the Web, and with it, the Internet.  If so, you aren’t really thinking of modern technologies. We are entering a new age. We’ve moved from the “Read-only Web,” which had little functionality for interacting with content, to the “Read-Write Web,” which offered seemingly endless collaborative opportunities, from sharing things with friends and family to shopping at your favorite brands. But the profusion of cyberattacks, data hacks, and online profiling have left many of us to view digital life as a Faustian bargain in need of a major rethink. It brings with it a new lexicon and vocabulary for concepts and tools like blockchains, the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs, decentralized finance, and self-sovereign identity. In this episode, Alex Tapscott will serve as our guide and interpreter of this brave new world.  Alex is the author of the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail Bestseller Web3: Charting the Internet’s Next Economic and Cultural Frontier. He is also an entrepreneur and seasoned capital markets professional focused on the impact of emerging technologies, such as Web3, AI, VR/AR, the Metaverse, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, on business, government, and society. Alex is masterful in communicating via both the written and spoken word as to complex topics that are critically important to our future and living fuller lives. As he wrote “In the Read-Write-Own Web of Web3, we are not merely spectators; we are authors of our digital destiny, reclaiming control over our identities and assets.” This episode is not to be missed if you want to better understand what the future holds and how it will impact us all and society.
88:48 6/1/24
Mountaineer, Entrepreneur, Guinness World Record Holder, and Mom: Jenn Drummond on Becoming BreakProof
We all have an Everest.  Even if you are not an alpinist or mountaineer, we are all on individual journeys, facing ascents and descents as we strive toward our personal and professional peaks. Whether yours is to achieve a big, audacious goal, or to find a way to coexist better with your mother-in-law, how you navigate the journey is up to you. You can choose to stop, to turn around, or to keep going. And you can choose to find meaning in the challenges along the way and embrace the joy in the journey.  And what if you could transform challenges into triumphs? Well, Jenn Drummond has a lot to say about how to do that through resilience, determination, and mindset. Jenn is a Guinness World Record holder for being the first woman to climb all of the 7 Second Summits, and she’s also a successful business owner, international speaker, author, host of the Seek Your Summit podcast, and the mother of 7 remarkable children. She also helps others create thriving businesses and lasting legacies of their own through her speaking and writing; in fact we’ll do a deep dive into her new book, BreakProof: 7 Strategies to Build Resilience and Achieve Your Life Goals. Listen and embark on a journey of personal growth and learn actionable strategies and exercises to build resilience and handle life's challenges. We discuss the importance of goal setting, continuous self-improvement and personal growth, along with ways to troubleshoot seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  I think Jenn’s life and adventures can serve as a blueprint for becoming breakproof. Jenn has a wonderful set of amazing accomplishments in all aspects of life that are models of empowerment and inspiration on how to live a life in full.
84:02 5/1/24
Octavia Goredema on Doing Work that Matters
How do you get the job, or position, or career, where the work that you do matters - and not just to your employer -  but to you? Few experiences in life are as awful as the feeling of being trapped in the wrong career. But how do you find a job that truly resonates with you? And once you’ve found it, how do you develop the confidence to take the necessary steps to arrive at the career of your dreams? Or how do you recover from a career setback and seize new opportunities? Or, what if you are returning after a time away from being in the workforce? How do you deal with the uncertainty behind a career change and what gives you the confidence to hit a reset-switch on your professional life?   These are the questions, areas and issues in which Octavia Goredema thrives, as she works to help others navigate their own personal career success.   Octavia is the host of the Audible Original series, How to Change Careers with Octavia Goredema and the author of PREP, PUSH, PIVOT: Essential Career Strategies for Underrepresented Women, published by Wiley.   Octavia founded Twenty Ten Agency, a career coaching practice, where she has coached leaders at Google, American Airlines, Tinder, General Motors, Nike, and Dow Jones, to name but just a few. Her insights have been featured in leading media outlets including Fortune, CNN, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and Black Enterprise, among others. During the pandemic she co-hosted “HBR Now,” the Harvard Business Review’s weekly show on leadership, and this year she contributed a chapter to the Harvard Business Review’s new book, Navigating the Toxic Workplace.   I see her work as a gift shared with her readers, her listeners, and her clients. Her wisdom, her transparency in the sharing of her experiences, and what she does, all demonstrate how she lives her life in full, and in the service of others.
76:02 4/1/24
Creativity and Innovation in Business and Design: Lance Cayko on (re)Inventing Architecture
At the intersection of architecture is art, creativity, design, engineering, sociology, psychology, and inspiration, not to mention survival, sustainability, and comfort. It’s been said that architecture is the art we live in. We’re all impacted by the communities in which we live, the spaces in which we work, along with the places we visit and experience throughout our lives.  So what is it that makes for good architectural design? How does a space become iconic? How does an architect go from project, to design, to engineering, to completion?  Well, Lance Cayko knows a lot about the answers to those questions, and more.  Lance is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of the architecture firm, F9 Productions, with Alex Gore. His career in architecture, engineering, and construction spans over two decades and includes numerous design awards including the international Architizer A+ Award for Architecture + Living Small. Their firm earned the #1 spot as BizWest's Mercury 100 Fastest-Growing Private Firms.  As an architect, Lance discussed the various benefits as also being the builder and developer on a project, both from a business success aspect but also in dealing with the various practical considerations of project management at scale. We also discussed the types of projects and clients that he finds most fulfilling to work with.  Lance’s perspective on the intersection of design and entrepreneurship yields examples and lessons for architects as well as any other founder or entrepreneur, regardless of field, and how it has influenced his approach to business and achieving an amazing growth rate of 386%(!). He believes that a strong design strategy plays a powerful role in contributing to the success of a business. Lance is a great role model for living a life in full, not just a founder and architect, but also how to be antifragile in a field with more than its fair share of challenges via mindful leadership and creativity. I think you will enjoy this episode with such an authentic and innovative individual.
71:41 3/1/24
Eduardo Briceño on the Performance Paradox: When Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect
To succeed in a fast-changing world, individuals and companies know they must create a culture of growth, where experimentation and feedback are encouraged, and learning is integrated into the everyday. Yet we often get stuck in a well-worn pattern of habits that don’t move us forward. Why? How do you get better at something? You do a lot of it. The 10,000 hour rule. Practice makes perfect, right? Maybe not. What if our focus only on performing doesn’t lead to the hoped for improvements, and instead our performance suffers? Well, there is a strange phenomenon that runs counter to what most of us would think is a key ingredient to improving our performance--that is--if we spend all our time performing, we actually hinder our performance. Worse yet, this applies to us as individuals, to our teams, and in our organizations, and it’s called The Performance Paradox. Eduardo Briceño knows a lot about this phenomenon and he has written a new book on how to recognize it, and what to do about it. The book is aptly titled The Performance Paradox: Turning the Power of Mindset into Action, and is published by Random House. We discuss how to • avoid falling into the chronic performance trap that stagnates growth • identify when and how to unlock the power of mistakes • integrate learning into daily habits in ways that stick • lead teams that constantly improve and outperform their targets • grow your skill level and output simultaneously and for the long term Discover how to balance learning and performing to bolster personal and team success with this revolutionary guide from a world renowned expert on growth mindset.  Eduardo Briceno's life is a testament to the profound impact that a growth mindset can have on personal and professional success. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and his mission to help others unlock their full potential continue to inspire individuals and organizations on their journeys toward excellence.
71:48 2/1/24
The Aesthetic Technologist: Hussain Almossawi on Art, Design and Creativity
How do you become an innovator? What sparks creativity? What goes into creating something that becomes iconic? Instead of predicting the future, what if you could create it? Well, that is pretty much what Hussain Almossawi does. He easily walks between digital and physical worlds as he creates futuristic concepts, experiences and objects. Hussain is an award-winning industrial designer, CGI/Visual Effects Artist, and best-selling author of The Innovator's Handbook. He has worked across industries and around the world consulting for companies such as Nike, Apple, Adidas, EA Sports, Intel, and Ford Motor Company, among others. He is a frequent keynote speaker on innovation and design, and has taught at the Parsons School of Design, The New School, and other institutions. Born in Bahrain, Hussain came to the US and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois, and his Masters in Industrial Design at the University of Alberta with his thesis on "Biomimetics, Innovation, and Design.” In 2019, Hussain founded Mossawi Studios, a multi-disciplinary design studio specializing in creating memorable, iconic, and bold experiences. He loves blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds, creating futuristic concepts and experiences, and storytelling. At the time of this conversation, Hussain has just won first place in the DNA Paris Design Awards with his Lamborghini Performance Footwear project – which is beautiful and amazing. Hussain is an inspiration and works to make the world a more beautiful and functional place, I can’t wait to see what he does next!
74:44 1/1/24
Profitability with Social Responsibility: Deb Crowe on a New Approach to Leadership
Leaders come in a variety of types and approaches. There are the proverbial Chainsaw Al’s - those tough-talking executives who are aggressive in their turning around troubled companies by laying off workers and closing factories.  There are the Jack Welch types who at first seem like geniuses, but are later found to not have created sustainable change. There is a litany of heroes and scoundrels, crooks and kings of all stripe, throughout various areas of work-life and the world.  But what if there was a more heart-centered style of leadership? Something that binds the power of compassion, empathy, and authenticity together in making decisions and informing relationships with those we work and collaborate with?  Well, there is, and Deb Crowe literally wrote the book on it, or should I say the Playbook, as she is the author of the newly published Heart-Centered Leadership Playbook. Deborah Crowe is an entrepreneurial leader with a wealth of experience coaching individuals at all levels, as well as consulting, training, and teaching, as a college professor. She also hosts the popular podcast imperfect and companion Substack newsletter, How to Master The Art of Heart.  Deb has navigated the entrepreneurial landscape for more than 30 years, and possesses a keen understanding of market dynamics, customer needs, and innovation. Coupled with her diverse life experiences, she is an out-of-the-box and innovative thinker. Her visionary leadership style fosters a collaborative and inclusive work environment, where employees thrive and contribute their best. Deb’s Heart-Centered Leadership Playbook is a transformative guide that redefines the traditional approach to leadership by emphasizing the power of compassion, empathy, and authenticity. In this groundbreaking book, author and heart-centered leader Deb Crowe delves into the core principles of heart-centered leadership, providing practical tools and strategies to inspire individuals and organizations to lead with purpose and passion. The Playbook is a must-read for aspiring leaders, seasoned executives, and anyone seeking to create positive change in their personal and professional lives.  In this episode we covered what heart-centered leadership is, Heart-Centered Leadership Qualities - what they are along with some examples, and some simple and easy methods to integrate heart-centered leadership into one’s life and work, and much, much more. Be sure to tune in and hear the whole story. Deb is an amazing and heart-centered leader who sincerely walks-the-talk in her work and life, and is the epitome of how one can live a life in full, and in service to others and the world. 
83:45 12/1/23
Valerie Plame’s Modern Odyssey (and Cautionary Tale) of Speaking Truth to Power
On July 6, 2003, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's historic op-ed, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," appeared in The New York Times. A week later, Robert Novak revealed in his Washington Post column that Ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative.  It ended her covert career and set off a political scandal that rocked the Bush/Cheney White House. The public disclosure of that secret information spurred a federal investigation and led to the trial and conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and the Wilsons' civil suit against top officials of the Bush administration.  Valerie had worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons. All that ended, with the public disclosure.  Valerie has amazing resilience and skillsets. Today she is serves on a number of boards and is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute, the trans-disciplinary scientific think tank created by two Nobel Prize winners to address the most compelling and complex problems in the world today. Valerie has lectured throughout the country and internationally on cyber security issues, national security, nuclear proliferation, women in intelligence, and the NSA revelations, and authored The New York Times best-selling memoir Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, which was also released as a major motion picture of the same name starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.  Along with Sarah Lovett, she’s written two fictional spy thrillers Blowback and Burned. She also served as the narrator and appeared as an expert in the film Countdown to Zero, a documentary on the threat of nuclear war. Valerie also heads up the TED-like annual conference, Spies, Lies, and Nukes in Santa Fe. Valerie has lived her life in full in public, and private service and is an inspiration to each and every one of us.
65:13 11/1/23
Tina Davidson on Composing a Life in Full (Measure)
“I collaborate with the music.” Composer Tina Davidson explores in her memoir Let Your Heart Be Broken: Life and Music from a Classical Composer, described as “a lyrical reckoning with what it takes to compose a life of cohesion and beauty, out of shattered bits and broken stories.”  In Let Your Heart Be Broken, Tina juxtaposes memories, journal entries, and insight into the life of an artist—and a mother—at work. Along the way, she meets Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg, survives an attack by nomads in Turkey, and learns her birth father is a world-famous scientist. And throughout, there is the thread of music, an ebb and a crescendo of a journey, out of the past, and into the present, through darkness and into the light. Tina is a writer and classical composer, now for 45 years, whose works have been performed by ensembles and orchestras across the country, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cassatt Quartet, as well as recordings with Albany Music and on Deutsche Grammophon, performed by Grammy winning violinist, Hilary Hahn - all while being a single parent. Her life is filled with experiences that are as amazing as they are touching, heart-wrenching as they are instructive, as she shares her dealing with depression and dissociation, and her work to reclaim herself through therapy and spiritual practice. Let Your Heart Be Broken has also been described as a “lyrical reckoning with what it takes to compose a life of cohesion and beauty out of shattered bits and broken stories” and we discussed her writing process as well, along with forgiveness, grieving and spiritual connection.  Tina has written that “we are, in the end, a measure of the love we leave behind.” I cannot think of any better way to live a life in full.
79:02 10/1/23
John Zolidis on Making Better Decisions and Recognizing Flawed Mental Models
Investment research created by large banks, mid-sized banks, and even smaller boutiques is frequently muddled by conflicts of interest, and its value diminished by over-distribution. Analysts often feel pressure to have positive ratings to support bankers or to generate corporate access.  And the time horizon of most research is typically very short, causing analysts to miss long-term winners due to near-term considerations. But the biggest issue is that most analysts have no proprietary information or process. Additionally, what are the mental models that can best serve not only making investment decisions, but also the various other choices we make in our lives?  John Zolidis has a lot to say about all that. As to the investment aspects, via Quo Vadis Capital, where he is President and Founder, he provides a research service that, while designed for the buy-side, is organized to solve for the sell-side’s issues. If you’re not exactly sure what that means, we’ll unpack all that and more in this conversation. John’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Post,, The and others; he was named in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” list, and is a part of value-investing conferences in Vail, Cyprus, Klosters, London, and Dubai.     Please note, in this episode, we are not providing any investment instruction or recommendations.  Please consult your financial advisor for investment advice that is appropriate for your personal financial situation, risk tolerance and objectives.  
93:23 9/1/23
Michael Bungay Stanier on How to Rescue Difficult Work Relationships and Do Your Best Work
Have you ever had the experience of working with someone and they just didn't “get” you? They do all the things that wind you up, put you off, and drive you nuts. And, have you ever worked with someone, and you just didn't “get” them? You couldn't figure out what made them tick, and you know that you were underwhelming, as a manager and leader for them.   Of course you have. We all have.   So why do those situations keep happening? Particularly when we’ve also experienced the opposite – great working relationships that soar. Our working relationships are fundamental, if not critical, to our success and happiness. Now imagine if you could keep your best relationships humming along for as long as possible. Imagine if you could contain the dysfunction of the messy ones so they’re less painful and more productive. Imagine if you could reset your solidly-OK-relationships so that when they wobble, they could more quickly get back on track. Well, in his latest book, How To Work with (Almost) Anyone, internationally bestselling author Michael Bungay Stanier writes about a tested process that sets up working relationships for the best possible success. He understands that every working relationship, whether it’s with our direct reports, our boss, or our coworkers, will become challenging at a certain point. In this episode, we’ll discuss how to communicate about who you are, and what brings out the best and the worst in you.  Michael has a gift for distilling big, complex ideas into practical, accessible knowledge for everyday people that helps them be a force for good. He is also at the forefront of shaping how organizations around the world make being coach-like an essential leadership competency. His books have sold over a million copies, with The Coaching Habit topping the Wall Street Journal bestseller list and it is also the best-selling coaching book of this century, with over a million copies sold. Seth Godin called it “the best book on coaching” and Brené Brown said it is “a classic.”  He's also written an impressive shelf’s worth of other notable tomes, including: Get Unstuck & Get Going, Great Work Provocations, Do More Great Work, The Advice Trap, How to Begin, and his most recent book How to Work with (Almost) Anyone, which did a deep dive into in this episode.
88:20 8/1/23
An Existential Slap Across the Face: Dean Rickles, PhD, on the Essence of Life’s Meaning
Death might seem to render pointless all of our attempts to create a meaningful life. But Professor Dean Rickles argues that only constraints―and death is the ultimate constraint―make our actions meaningful. In order for us to live full lives, Dean believes it is the finiteness and shortness of life that brings meaning. In this episode we explore how this insight is the key to making the most of the time that we do have. Dr. Dean Rickles is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Modern Physics at The University of Sydney. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds with a thesis on conceptual issues in quantum gravity. He is also the Co-Director of the Sydney Centre for Time, an Advisor for The Lifeboat Foundation, and Co-leads a Templeton Foundation-funded interdisciplinary project on the flow of time. His primary research focus is the history and philosophy of modern physics, particularly quantum gravity and spacetime physics.  Dean’s authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles along with a number of books. He is also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Foundational Questions Institute.  The primary focus of our conversation was on his latest book, Life Is Short. I personally really enjoyed it, and midway through I set it aside to send Dean a request to be on the podcast as I knew I needed to connect and discuss it.  Life is Short explores how death limits our options and forces us to make choices that forge a life and give the world meaning. Therein Dean writes that people often live in a state of indecision, in a misguided attempt to keep their options open. “By reminding us how extraordinary it is that we have any time to live at all, Life Is Short challenges us to rethink what gives life meaning and how to make the most of it." Dean has said that he, himself feels that that life is too short, so I asked him about some of the ways he lives his, albeit too short life, in full. While this is a deep, deep conversation that covers many disciplines, our specific discussion on Life is Short I think will be of interest to anyone wanting to live their life in full.
58:08 7/1/23
Nick Gray, The Underdog Wunderkind and Superconnector
Is loneliness the new smoking? A number of studies and polls have recently come out that indicate Americans of all ages, socioeconomic, and geographic locations are more isolated and alone that in any other time in recent history. Some postulate this has been spurred by people isolating themselves via increased screen time, alienating and divisive social media posts, remote working, and perhaps augmented by living in a post-Covid era.  Regardless of the causes, Nick Gray is wielding name tags and a harmonica, and rolling up his sleeves to remedy this new plague, which we’ll be discussing in this episode. But first who is Nick Gray? Well, he is a bit of an underdog wunderkind. Let me explain. At age 14, Nick while in middle school, built websites and was making $70 per hour, which later on helped pay his tuition at Wake Forest University. After graduating, he helped build and grow the family business, which they sold and now Nick manages their family office. While living in New York and, based on his disdain for museums, but smitten on a date to The Met, he built and launched a multi-million dollar, Inc. 5000 company, called Museum Hack. He also did a TEDx talk about it (which has been watched by more than 75,000 people), and then sold the company, as many of us do. Along the way he also lived in India and produced a Bollywood music video. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and New York Magazine. In addition to having been a featured speaker at TEDx, he’s also presented at The DO Lectures and The Skift Conference, among many others. Needless to say, Nick is not your everyday entrepreneur, or person. His latest foray is that of author, and we’ll do a deep dive into his new book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build relationships by hosting small gatherings. Nick is the poster-boy for living your life in full, connecting with others and building community more so than an audience. Tune in to learn how he does it, and how you can, too.
54:00 6/1/23
The Ever Erudite Michael F. Schein on Secret Societies (and Why You Should Start One)
Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, 5 Hertford Street, the Bohemian Club, and more, are all so-called secret societies. Not so much because no one knows about them, but more so the question as to what do they do, who belongs to them, and how do you join? Is membership in the Soho House the modern day variant of such societies? What’s the psychology behind their creation and their intrigue? Well, Michael F. Schein, author, and CEO of MicroFame Media, knows a lot about that, and in fact, he’s created his own secret society that we’ll be discussing in this episode.  He was the former co-host of the “Access to Anyone” podcast and his writing has appeared in Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Psychology Today, and the Huffington Post, and he has been a speaker for audiences spanning from the northeastern United States to the southeastern coast of China. Michael is the author of the popular The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets From the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers, published by McGraw Hill last year.  So, it seems a little paradoxical that we’re publicly discussing “secret” groups, right? But by definition Michael explains how a secret society gets hyped in spite of it then no longer being “secret.” Michael helps us understand how to know something is not a scam or cult. As well as the crossroad of hype and NFTs, Web3, crypto, and journalists covering rises and flameouts and phenomena like the Bored Monkey Yacht Club.  Michael is whip-smart and New York shrewd. He helps us all better know how to separate the wheat from the chaff in better understanding hype from value so we can better live our lives in full.
62:46 4/22/23
Doing the Right Thing: Ella F. Washington, PhD, on Taking The Necessary Journey
Quiet quitting has become quite topical in the media as of late. But perhaps the real story is quiet FIRING. That refers to an employer who doesn't give raises, or doesn’t provide promotion opportunities. Or they slight team members and actually diminish or stall their employees’ professional growth. Everyone, both personally and professionally, wants to feel seen, and heard. Some employers struggle to listen in order to learn, and inadvertently cause their staff to shut down. And this can be in spite of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Belonging programs being in place. Harmful inequity, influence, and ignorance can be found in many a boardroom and work setting.  Work should create a space that elevates the minds of the people in it, and collectively supports each person's voice. These are the concepts researched by organizational psychologist and DEI expert, Dr. Ella F. Washington.  Dr. Washington offers a wealth of experience as the Founder and CEO of Ellavate Solutions, serves as a Gallup Senior Scientist, and is also a Professor of Practice at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where she recently received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Georgetown's MBA Class of 2021, and she is the author of "The Necessary Journey: Making Real Progress on Equity and Inclusion" published by the Harvard Business Review, which we focused on in this episode.   We wrapped up with her crystal ball predictions for the future of DEI, what’s next for workplaces. Dr. Washington’s work is an inspiration – as a leader, founder, and as a person. We all need to step it up, seek justice, and get on the journey to make our world a better place. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.
45:29 4/1/23
Robin Landa on Strategic Creativity, Effective Ideation, and The New Art of Ideas
A great idea presents as a well-formulated thought or plan of action that spurs growth, change, advancement, adaptation, or new insight. Worthwhile ideas move the needle; they can change the playing field altogether. One of the most innovative thinkers in this area is Professor Robin Landa, author of The New Art of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential, which is designed to help readers consistently produce worthwhile ideas by becoming nimble, and imaginative thinkers. Robin holds the title of Distinguished Professor at the Michael Graves College at Kean University. She has written 25 books about creativity, graphic design, advertising design, branding, and drawing. And she has won numerous awards for her writing, research, teaching, design, and humanitarian work. Robin is a former chair of the governance board of Design Incubation, a design research and practice organization, and serves as a creative consultant to the C-suites of various international corporations.  Named “one of the great teachers of our time” by the Carnegie Foundation, she has taught university students as well as industry professionals how to generate worthwhile ideas. It’s no surprise people consider Robin a creativity authority, but she’s more than that, as she uses her creative powers for good, not evil. In this episode we do a deep dive into her latest book, The New Art of Ideas. We chat about how she started her career as a writer and academic—and the routines she has created that are  "non-negotiable" in order to maintain her output. She also shares her passion for teaching and giving back to the next generation. Robin is a rare combination of creative, academic, author, humanitarian, and firebrand, that does much for the good of the world and helps so many others to live their lives in full. Listen in to learn what Robin has to say about living a strategically creative life. You won’t be disappointed.
67:03 3/1/23
Brad Stulberg on the Paradox of Achievement and Sustainable Success
In this episode, Brad Stulberg shares a healthier, more sustainable model for success. At the heart of this model is groundedness--a practice that values presence over rote productivity, accepts that progress is nonlinear, and prioritizes long-term values and fulfillment over short-term gain. To be grounded is to possess a firm and unwavering foundation, a resolute sense of self from which deep and enduring, not shallow and superficial, success can be found. Groundedness does not eliminate ambition and striving; rather, it situates these qualities and channels them in more meaningful ways. Achievement often comes at a cost. Angst, restlessness, frayed relationships, exhaustion, burnout, and even substance abuse can be the unwanted side effects of an obsession with outward performance. While the high of occasional wins can keep you going for a while, playing into the always-on, never enough hustle culture—what he calls heroic individualism—ultimately takes a serious toll, both on individuals and communities. In his newest book, The Practice of Groundedness, Brad offers a healthier and more sustainable model for success. Interweaving case studies, modern science, and time-honored lessons from ancient wisdom traditions such as Buddhism, Stoicism, and Taoism, Brad discusses how to cultivate the habits and practices of a more grounded life and the application of the six principles of groundedness. We wrapped up with discovering what Brad’s learned in the year since Groundedness has been out, and I must say it was as deep and reflective as you may expect from such a unique person. Brad’s work helps us all to live our lives in full, and with authentic meaning. This is a rich conversation with an amazing guy, be sure to tune in on your favorite platform.
49:50 2/1/23
Asymmetric Creativity and Leadership with CEO and Retired Navy SEAL, Marty Strong
What is the journey like to move from enlisting in the Navy at age 17, being recruited into the SEALs instead of going to law school, then serving as a SEAL Team member for twenty years, leading combat missions and helping to design and test new special operations capabilities while becoming a combat-decorated officer and later instructor, to next becoming an entrepreneur, novelist and nonfiction author, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, Portfolio Manager, sought-after media expert and keynote speaker, while being a father of five and beating cancer – twice? Well, that’s what Marty Strong will be discussing in this episode, and how to apply what he’s learned, to your life and work. But let me first tell you a little bit more about Marty. In the Navy, he served as Former Task Unit Commander and Ops Boss, was a member of SEAL Team Two and SEAL Team Four, and was Leading Chief Petty Officer at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado. He’s traveled to over forty countries, and been shot-at in a few. Marty is currently the CEO of three companies within an ESOP-enterprise structure and he runs his own consulting firm. He’s appeared on CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, and was a featured expert on two History Channel documentaries. In all, Marty has over 400 TV and radio interviews to his credit.  Marty has taken the thread of leadership to stitch together the fabric of his vibrant, albeit challenging career and life. There is so much we covered in this episode – leadership, overcoming adversity, BUDs and being a SEAL Team Member and instructor, author, entrepreneur, and more. We also covered mindset, adaptation, and improvising, black swans, flow state a la Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, business leadership during crisis, motivation and the courage required to excel, and how to see risk as opportunity for accelerated outcomes. Marty certainly lives his life in full, and in the service of others in so many ways. This is a great conversation with an amazing leader.
75:23 1/1/23
The Complex Elegance and Constant Contradictions of Derek Sivers
Tim Ferriss says that Derek Sivers is one of his “all-time favorite humans... a philosopher-king, programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster.” Derek is an international man of mystery, or maybe contradiction. He’s known and loved by millions, done three super-popular TED talks, but he prefers to be alone, certainly when he’s working and creating, or “playing” as he’d more likely call it. Derek graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has worked as a professional musician and plays a number of instruments. He started a record label, booking agency, and recording studio, and he is the accidental founder of CD Baby which became the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients. He sold CD Baby in 2008 for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education, as well as a more recent donation of a quarter-million dollars in book-sales to charity. He's been featured in the documentary "Your Own Way Out," on the highs and lows of digital nomads. He’s lived all over the US as well as London, Oxford, Singapore, and currently New Zealand. Derek is a sought-after speaker and author of four very popular books, “Anything You Want 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur,” “Your Music and People.” “Hell Yeah or No,” and most recently, “How to Live: 27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion,” which we will focus most of our conversation on in this episode. Oh, and one more thing, he was a clown and worked in the circus for 10 years. Derek lives his life in full and provides the rest of us with the tools and inspiration to do likewise. This is an episode not to be missed.
88:31 12/1/22
Neil Littman on Bringing Science Fiction to Life and Medicine
Healthcare and medicine have long served as a hotbed of innovation. Perhaps the leading edge these days requires a paradigm shift – think digital therapeutics, Web3, the metaverse, CRISPR, Software as a Medical Device – this is the domain of Neil Littman, Founder & CEO of Bioverge, a highly curated impact-investment venture platform exclusively dedicated to healthcare and to democratizing access to investing in early stage companies and startups. The Bioverge platform serves as a decentralized network linking capital to potential investment opportunities. Neil also hosts, The Bioverge Podcast. Neil talked about his time at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and what it was like from both the scientific and business aspects. It was there that he learned that the institutional model of financing and investing could be applied to the retail sector as well. Combining those experiences and what he learned firsthand, lead to his creating the Bioverge platform. Neil discussed that the decentralized network he built provides warm referrals to Bioverge with the goal of linking capital for potential investment opportunities. But they also provide value added services beyond just capital that helps founders and portfolio companies that may need support and expertise along the way. Beyond sourcing deal flow, they conduct due diligence on the investment opportunities by leveraging their network of subject matter experts who also have deep domain expertise. Neil’s work is such a great example of “doing well while doing good” by helping to save lives and change the world.
80:02 11/1/22
John Rossman on Innovation, Leadership and Making Better Decisions
I bet you are an Amazon Prime member, not because I’m clairvoyant, but because half of the US is. Half! Did you know that three-quarters of all product searches begin on Amazon, not Google, or a search engine? Or, did you know Amazon is valued at $1.6 trillion, and has become one of the fastest growing B2B companies in history, with Amazon Web Services. Or, that Amazon’s projected 2023 revenue is $780 Billion – with a B. My guest on this episode is the expert on the Amazon Way. He literally wrote the book on it.   John Rossman is a former Amazon executive and now Managing Partner at Rossman Partners, and is the author of The Amazon Way book series. John is an expert in leveraging the Amazon leadership principles to help others innovate, compete and win in the digital era as he teaches business leaders and founders how to be like Amazon. We ended with a discussion as to whether Amazon has an Achilles Heel as John wrote that Bezos himself predicted that Amazon would go bankrupt one day. Tune in to hear John’s very straightforward response. John’s counsel on leadership, strategy and innovation is fundamental to living his life in full, and serves as a tool box for us to lean from as well.
56:19 10/1/22
Colin O’Brady on Making the Impossible Possible for Everyone
Millions of people dream of living a more fulfilling life, yet many settle for a life of comfortable complacency, allowing excuses and negative thoughts to invade their minds. I don’t have enough time…I don’t have enough money…I’m afraid to fail...I don’t have what it takes—we allow these limiting beliefs to control us. Colin O’Brady has an empowered way of thinking that can help with that. So who is Colin O’Brady? He’s a guy that knows a lot about mindset. He is a 10-time world record breaking explorer and one of the world’s best endurance athletes. He isn’t your typical adventurer despite his unmatched athletic accomplishments including a world-first solo crossing of Antarctica, a world-first ocean row across Drake Passage (from South America to Antarctica), and summiting Mt. Everest twice. Colin is an expert on mindset, a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a New York Times bestselling author. He’s also a television host, an executive producer and an entrepreneur who has built and sold companies. And, he’s done it all after overcoming a devastating accident - that nearly left him unable to walk - to prove that anything is possible.
82:06 9/1/22
Effective Altruism: Charlie Bresler, PhD, on How to Amplify Your Impact
Extreme poverty has devastating effects on over 700 million people globally. Every year 5.3 million children, under the age of five, die, and more than half of these deaths could have been easily prevented if they would have been fortunate enough to have been born in the United States. Peter Singer has famously noted that “we have an ethical obligation to use some portion of our wealth and privilege to save lives and reduce the unnecessary suffering associated with extreme poverty—defined as living on less than $1.25 USD/day.” Almost a decade ago, Charlie Bresler became volunteer Executive Director and co-founder of The Life You Can Save, a non-profit dedicated to reducing extreme poverty. Through his financial support and leadership, Charlie has helped Peter Singer, develop the organization from the ground up. The Life You Can Save’s mission is to inspire more people to give effectively and end world poverty. And Charlie has famously said that it’s a privilege, not just a responsibility to save lives, reduce suffering, and empower livelihoods. The “amplification” of how much further a dollar goes in impoverished countries is the perspective Singer and Charlie suggest should affect our giving decisions. The effective altruism movement has reignited thinking how much we should give and where. “What greater motivation can there be than doing whatever one possibly can to reduce pain and suffering?” Charlie is a heroic figure that lives his ethos and life in full, and in the service of others.
75:42 8/1/22
Jordan Metzl, MD, on High-Performance Ways to Optimize Lifespan and Healthspan
With a practice of more than 20,000 patients, Dr. Jordan Metzl is widely known for his passion for sports medicine and fitness. His academic appointments are as an Associate Attending Physician and Associate Attending Pediatrician at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Which I consider to be the premier orthopedic surgery center in the United States. In addition to his busy medical practices in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut, Dr. Metzl is the author of the bestselling titles Running Strong, The Exercise Cure, and Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies, and has also authored three other books including The Young Athlete.  He serves as the medical columnist for Triathlete Magazine. He’s been recognized in Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area since 2007, as well as being named one of New York Magazine’s Top Doctors for over 15 years. A former collegiate soccer player, Dr. Metzl is a 33-time marathon runner and 12-time Ironman finisher, so far… Jordan has done so many things, and done them so well, so we started with his origin story for his life path and career as a sports medicine physician. We discussed his books in the context of topics, and I had so many things to talk with him about. We also got into the role of diet and nutrition, science versus woo-woo in health and nutrition information, and even a little bit on Wim Hof. We also talked quite a bit about running, the role of genetics and health/performance, the role of recovery is now much more appreciated and perhaps understood as a performance enhancer, and illness prevention. Jordan certainly lives his life in full and he helps millions of others do so as well. This episode is not to be missed.
74:32 7/1/22
Augmenting Medicine with AI: Hassan Tetteh, MD, on Innovation in Healthcare
Dr. Hassan Tetteh is a decorated Navy captain and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, and adjunct faculty at Howard University College of Medicine. As a cardiothoracic surgeon, he was deployed in Afghanistan and on warships in the Persian Gulf. He’s also an unabashed medical “nerd,” part of a cadre of physicians board-certified in clinical informatics. Dr. Tetteh is the founder and principal of Tetteh Consulting Group, creator of The Art of Human Care book series, and a best-selling author of several books. He is board certified in thoracic surgery, general surgery, clinical informatics, and healthcare management and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association. In a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, it was noted that he has one of the coolest-sounding jobs in medicine – “Warfighter Health Mission Chief for the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (or Jake).” Dr. Tetteh told us about the Center and his work there. We then start a dive into big data, Project Orion, and the JAIC’s suicide-prevention initiative and the idea of psychological autopsy and digital phenotyping. This is a wonderful conversation about not only living one’s life in full, but also the promise of technological innovation to help others do likewise.
68:55 6/1/22
Michael Clinton on Achieving Your Dreams by Reimagining Your Life
As disruption impacts many industries, mid-career professionals must navigate change and consider its future impact. Likewise, the post-career population faces transformation, and needs to prepare financially, logistically, or emotionally for the next phase of their lives. Michael urges us to view this transition through a progressive lens: don’t retire, but rather rewire or re-fire toward a happier, more productive next chapter. And end self-imposed ageism; focus instead on self-driven growth-ism – to fulfill dreams, and plan new experiences, travel, relationships, and more. Michael’s mission is to help others shape a second half of life full of joy, purpose, learning, and fulfillment. Packed with practical tips and insightful research, his new book ROAR into the second half of your life (before it's too late) and our conversation offer ways to optimize our lives and realize our most important goals. Michael is a testament to this process, applying it himself to pursue a diverse and richly layered life. Rising from working class roots to a successful career in magazine publishing, he also enjoys other “lives” as a photographer, pilot, philanthropist, marathon runner, and winemaker.  This is the master class and the textbook for learning how to live your life in full.
54:49 5/1/22
Innovation in Humanitarian Work During Geopolitical Crisis with Dr. Mohammad Haqmal
Dr. Mohammad Haqmal, is the former Chief of Public Health for Afghanistan, where he developed a series of groundbreaking programs and has received the Afghanistan National Public Hero Award – twice. He is a medical doctor by training and also holds master’s degrees in Business Administration, Public Health, and Global Health. Before all this, he and his mother had to flee Afghanistan when he was five to live in a refugee camp in Pakistan; they were the only two of his family who survived the attack and managed to escape.   Currently he is a lecturer at the University of London, and at the time of our conversation was in the process of joining the faculty of the University of Cambridge. He’s also involved in a number of research projects based in the UK, he serves as a columnist at Arab News, and he has a forthcoming new book.   Dr. Haqmal shared his experiences as the Chief of Public Health and many innovative projects that were inclusive, community-based, respectful of the beliefs of those cared for, and were empirically based. We did cover public health and humanitarian aid issues under the Taliban rule. In fact, we discussed a recent article he coauthored and published in the Lancet on urgent health and humanitarian needs of the Afghan population under the Taliban, and what spurred him and his colleagues to write it.   Dr. Haqmal has been through much adversity, and nevertheless has chosen to live his life in full by helping others, often at great risk to himself, and the result is to have made a true difference in the world.
72:58 4/1/22
Learning from a Legend: Mark Mahaney’s Insights and Lessons on Tech Investing and Financial Literacy
“I’ve watched the rise of some of the leading companies of today–Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google–and the fall of some of the leading companies of yesterday–Yahoo!, eBay, and AOL…Figuring out which companies really are going to be dominant franchises is an extremely hard thing to do. But those who accomplished this were arguably able to generate some of the best portfolio returns in the stock market over the past generation.” In Mark Mahaney’s new book, Nothing But Net, and in this episode, he shares stock-picking lessons from both his best money-making stock calls and his biggest mistakes. He walks us through the history of the commercial Internet, including the Dot Com Boom and the Dot Com Bust, describes which companies succeeded spectacularly and which failed miserably—and why—explains what drives stock prices—especially for high-growth Tech stocks, and provides ten hard-earned lessons for building a powerful Tech stock portfolio. You don’t want to miss this episode.
44:26 3/1/22
Authoring Your New Script: April Rinne on How to Flux (and Thrive) in Constant Change
April Rinne is equal parts global authority, advocate, ally and adventurer. She spent the first half of her career focused on global development and financial inclusion, and the latter half on the “new” digital economy and the future of work. For more than two decades, she has seen emerging trends early, understands their potential, and helps others do the same. Her new book Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change is part personal guidebook, part strategic roadmap, and part blank canvas for discovery, Flux provides a refreshing, unconventional take on navigating change today and far into the future. Each of the eight Flex Superpowers helps you see differently and ground you in your truth. Our conversation is not to be missed if you want to learn how to be empowered to thrive – no matter what changes come your way. We have a great discussion of the eight flux superpowers, which she calls a “Bento box for the mind.” Run slower See what's invisible Get lost Start with trust Know your "enough" Create your portfolio career Be all the more human (and serve other humans) Let go of the future In her book, April provides discussion guides at the end and the exercises and figures in each chapter that I found to be quite instructive. We end with some guidance for listeners who are overwhelmed with change and facing anxiety or burnout, her career advice for someone who is worried about where the future of work is taking us, and the seeming paradox of her being a futurist, yet having a superpower be "Letting Go of the Future." We went deep in looking at a world that clamors for "more, more, more," and her perspective on Knowing Your "Enough" and how we can figure out what our enough is. And April’s answer to my asking her about what are some of the ways she lives your life in full is not to be missed.
84:58 2/1/22

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