Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais

By Dr. Michael Gervais

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I’ve been in the trenches with some of the best performers in the world – some who shift how we conceive what’s possible — others who have pushed their own boundaries — ranging from hall of fame athletes to action sport game-changers, entrepreneurs, Mixed Martial Artists, to musicians who influence the rhythm of the world. I’m Dr. Michael Gervais, and I’m excited to decode the many paths toward mastery and provide applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives.

Episode Date
Erik Vendt, 3x Olympian and WHOOP Director of Performance

This week's conversation is with Erik Vendt - a 3x Olympian swimmer and currently Director of Performance for WHOOP. 

He won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 400-meter individual medley. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Vendt won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. 4×200-meter freestyle relay team.

This is a fantastic conversation that shines light on some of the core themes that have emerged from Finding Mastery.

Erik grew up loving swimming - so much so that he pushed all his chips in - and was determined to become an Olympian.

And while he did in fact achieve his "goal" there was a cost to it.

When swimming was over he felt void of passion and purpose - something all too familiar for many athletes when they reach the end of their playing days.

For anyone who's gone through difficult transitions in life - I'm sure you'll be able to relate and for those currently facing a transition in your life - this is definitely a conversation worth your time.

Erik's quest to find a new passion and purpose in life ultimately led him to WHOOP.

In his role as Director of Performance, Erik works predominantly with the special forces community, specifically within a program called PTOF (preservation of force and family) focused on building a more resilient and ready war fighter.

The idea is to improve their mental health, spiritual framework, and human performance and this is where WHOOP comes in.

I think many of you are aware by now that WHOOP is a partner of Finding Mastery.

I have been using WHOOP for months now - for me, it is about figuring out how my body responds to everything in life.

Whether it is my diet, sleep, training, or other stress, WHOOP breaks it all down into personalized daily Recovery, Strain, and Sleep metrics. 

If you haven’t tried out their technology yet – I encourage you to go learn more about their product.

They also just created an amazing offer for Finding Mastery listeners.

Your first month is now free when you sign up at: and use the code “FINDINGMASTERY” … all one word, all caps.

This episode is brought to you by:

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Aug 15, 2018
Dr. Marco Cardinale, Head of Sports Physiology, Aspire Academy

This week’s conversation is with Dr. Marco Cardinale, the Head of Sports Physiology of Aspire Academy in Doha (Qatar).

He started his career in sports science as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and went on to lead the sports science activities for the preparation of Team Great Britain at the Beijing, Vancouver and London Olympic Games.

He has been an advisor to various companies (e.g. Polar Electro, Medisport and Technogym), government agencies (e.g. the European Space Agency) and professional sport organizations and national governing bodies in 5 countries (USA, Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK) before working in Qatar.

In this episode we discuss making the most of opportunities, how to avoid self-imposter syndrome, and his evidence based approach to coaching.

There’s a lot to learn from Marco – he has a unique perspective that only comes from working all over the world, immersing himself in different cultures along the way.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Exclusive offer for the Finding Mastery community -- Get your first month of WHOOP membership FREE with the promo code: "FINDINGMASTERY" at checkout!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Aug 08, 2018
Bob Wright, Former Vice Chairman of GE and CEO of NBC

This week’s conversation is with Bob Wright, who served as vice chairman of General Electric and president, CEO, and chairman of NBC and NBC Universal from 1986 to 2007.

Prior to that, he served as president of General Electric Financial Services and before that as president of Cox Cable Communications.

Bob’s had a diversified career in law, general management, marketing, and television and has been inducted into the Advertising, Broadcasting and Cable Halls of Fame.

He is also the co-founder of Autism Speaks and founder of The Suzanne Wright Foundation

Bob’s major focus right now is on The Suzanne Wright Foundation and his CodePurple campaign which are both fighting pancreatic cancer.

In this conversation we touch on leadership, passion and accountability.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Exclusive offer for the Finding Mastery community -- Get your first month of WHOOP membership FREE with the promo code: "FINDINGMASTERY" at checkout!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Aug 01, 2018
Rich Froning Jr., 4x Fittest Man on Earth

This week’s conversation is with Rich Froning Jr., dubbed the Fittest Man in History after winning four back-to-back individual CrossFit Games championships (2011-2014).

He also won the worldwide Open for three consecutive years (2012-2014), and when he retired from individual competition after the 2014 season, he captained his affiliate’s team, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, to two back-to-back Affiliate Cup championships in 2015 and 2016.

When I mentioned to a couple of my friends that Rich was coming on, they raised their eyebrows and nodded, "That’s going to be a great one.”

Rich’s point of view comes from being recognized as the best in the world at his craft.

It’s clear Rich understands winning – and the costs associated with it.

In Rich’s words: “To be the best in the world at anything, you’re not balanced. You can’t be balanced.”

So if you knew that ahead of time, would you still pursue it? It’s a great question and why I love these conversations so much.

They really make you think about who you are and what you value most – at least they do for me.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Exclusive offer for the Finding Mastery community -- Get your first month of WHOOP membership FREE with the promo code: "FINDINGMASTERY" at checkout!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jul 25, 2018
Bob Hurley, Hurley International Founder

This week’s conversation is with Bob Hurley, founder and chairman of the global apparel brand, Hurley.

Something I love about these Finding Mastery conversations is we get to learn from people at all stages, across unique fields of expertise.

And in this conversation we get to learn from someone who built a globally recognized brand, which was acquired by Nike in 2002.

Bob has made his work his play from the beginning.

He started as a surf shop kid in Huntington Beach, shaping surf boards before acquiring the license to Billabong USA in 1982.

In 1999, he started his own clothing brand embracing the spirit and creativity of youth.

Bob has a phenomenal story to share and he opens up about how he built Hurley into the company that it is today, what his process looks like for making big decisions, and why he has a burning desire to be around “magic.”

He remains deeply involved in company operations today, except when “product-testing” in Indo or Fiji.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jul 18, 2018
Andrew Zimmern, Chef and TV Personality

This week’s conversation is with Andrew Zimmern, a four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher.

Andrew is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, The Zimmern List and Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, he has explored culture through food in more than 170 countries.

He has built a multi-faceted empire that promotes impactful ways to think about, create and live with food.

On the surface Andrew is wildly successful – he’s highly ambitious and has an insatiable curiosity for life but in this conversation he pulls back the curtain and we get to learn about a different side of him.

Andrew’s affinity for risk taking led him down a path that almost cost him his life.

And that is at the heart of what this conversation is all about.

Andrew holds nothing back.

The pain he endured, what he ultimately learned about himself, and how it’s impacted the work he does today.

We all have challenges we’re dealing with—whether it be issues at work, your personal life, addiction, searching for purpose, and I truly believe this conversation has something to offer for everyone.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jul 11, 2018
Reid Priddy, 4x Volleyball Olympian

This week’s conversation is with Reid Priddy, a 4 time Olympian for the USA Men’s indoor volleyball team, winning Gold in 2008 and Bronze in 2016.

Over the past 16 years, Reid has competed at the highest level in indoor volleyball - both on the US National Team as well as on foreign Pro teams in domestic leagues all across the globe.

In 2014, Reid suffered a torn ACL during competition, which required double knee surgery.

In his late thirties, he defied the odds and worked his way all the way back to the top and helped the US Olympic Team win a Bronze Medal in Rio

Reid is looking to defy the odds once more by switching surfaces to the sand – he’s working towards representing the US in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

As someone who has had the fortune of being involved with multiple Olympic Games, most recently with the 2016 women’s indoor and beach volleyball teams I've seen just how challenging the Olympic quad process is... the rigorous hours and dedication required over a 4 year period to even have a shot at making the Olympics once.

Now imagine doing that successfully 4 times (16 years, not including the 10-20 years of prior training just to get the world-stage) and still having the hunger to come back and do it one final time.

In this conversation we learn how Reid has done it - we discuss everything from how he struggled with confidence in his early playing days, what it means to be clutch, and why he loves putting himself in situations that test his capabilities.

There aren’t many people who are able to call themselves a 4x Olympian so I can’t wait for you to learn from Reid.


This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jul 04, 2018
Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon Winner

This week’s podcast is with Des Linden, a 2x Olympian, running the marathon for the U.S. in both the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Her most significant achievement to date happened this year (2018) when she became the first American woman in 33 years to win the Boston Marathon.

Prior to winning, she came in 4th last year (2017) and finished second by only two seconds in 2011 (a personal record at the time).

Two seconds!

Think about how crushing that could be. Everything you’ve worked so hard for is in striking distance only to miss by two seconds—if external outcomes are the primary measurement of success.

Imagine the persistence and the mental fortitude required just to complete a marathon, then on top of that fight back and win the Boston Marathon seven years after having a PR but coming up just short of first place…

That right there sets the tone for what this conversation is all about.

We discuss everything from being comfortable with getting vulnerable, why she doesn’t get nervous before races, and how she manages her internal dialog.

If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this conversation, it’s that Des is comfortable with who she is.

In her words: “The thing I understand most is … myself”

And having that understanding, that confidence is a very powerful thing.


This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jun 27, 2018
Peter Park, Fitness and Wellness Coach

This week’s conversation is with Peter Park, founder of the Platinum brand and co-owner of the Platinum Fitness Summerland facility in Santa Barbara, California.

He brings to this conversation a history rich of stories from the frontier. A blend of his own limit pushing achievements and 23 years of experience training elite athletes, big-screen celebrities, top touring musicians, and recreation folks that are serious about their fitness, mobility, and longevity.

Peter has trained the best of the best -- Lance Armstrong, Kelly Slater (11x World Champion surfer), Lakey Peterson (currently #1 in the world right now for professional surfing), 2017 Major League Baseball MVP Giancarlo Stanton, and motocross game changers Chad Reed and Ken Roczen are among the athletes that Peter has nurtured through various stages of their careers.

Peter recently authored a book called “Rebound” on Foundation Training, which lengthens and strengthens the back body, equaling out one’s total body strength, posture, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

In this conversation we discuss what he’s learned from training the best in the world, why Peter struggles with the idea of balance, and what cancer has taught him about embracing every moment.

I hope you can appreciate Peter’s humility and as a friend of Peter's, I hope you get a sense of the man he his, far more than the craft he's mastering…. see if you can dig into what he's searching for, how he goes about it, and why it matters so much to him.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jun 20, 2018
The Process: Ep. 4 ft. Mi Águila co-founders Andres Blumer and Bruno Ocampo-González

On the 4th episode of The Process, Alex Fiance updates us on the latest happenings with Kairos and discuses the challenges they are currently facing: having to make investment decisions at a faster rate than ever before and the pressure that comes with it. 

We then get to learn from Andres Blumer and Bruno Ocampo-González, co-founders of Mi Águila, a company that is rethinking workforce transportation in Colombia and Latin America. Andres and Bruno believe their technology platform can help solve the transportation issues that plague their local market. They share what they believe are the most important qualities for any entrepreneur: persistence, emotional intelligence and self awareness and also discuss the challenges of building a company in Colombia.

Listen to past episodes of The Process here:

Jun 15, 2018
David, Special Operations Sniper

This week’s conversation is with David (leaving his last name out for security purposes.)

He's been a top special operations sniper for more than 10 years. 

David has four combat tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan and one tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During the last 21 years he has served in a variety of leadership roles that include; Fire Team Leader, Senior Weapons Sergeant, Tactics and Weapons instructor, Team Sergeant Air Operations NCOIC.

David’s won countless awards along the way and just won the USASOC Sniper competition (top completion for snipers in all branches of special ops).

He’s been asked multiple times how he won and he attributes it to his mental game!

This conversation is a treat.

We get to learn from someone truly on the razor’s edge; putting his life on the line. We talk about what goes through his mind in the most pivotal moments, where everything is at stake, including his and others’ lives around him.

We discuss the difficulties that come with transitioning back and forth between combat and every day life, his addiction to adrenaline, and how he manages dealing with some of the difficult sights and sounds he’s witnessed.

I have the utmost respect for the people who choose to serve our country and put their lives on the line to protect others and I hope this conversation gives you a glimpse into what that sacrifice is really all about.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jun 13, 2018
Rebecca Rothstein, Top Wealth Advisor

This week’s conversation is with Rebecca Rothstein, a private wealth advisor focused on helping high-net-worth individuals, families and institutions pursue their financial goals through wealth management, tax minimization strategies and legacy planning services.

In 2017, Forbes named Rebecca one of “America's Top Wealth Advisors" and this year recognized her as the #1 “Top Women’s Wealth Advisor.”

What stands out in this conversation is while Rebecca’s area of expertise may appear on the surface to be wealth management, her true gift is her ability to build relationships with her clients, her team, and her family.

One of Rebecca's key indicators for success is maintaining a high retention rate -- which she has.

When I asked her why her client retention was so high, it of course came down to quality relationships: her ability to listen, communicate, and develop trust with her clients.

In Rebecca’s words, “The most important thing that you learn when you’re taking on someone’s money, is that you have to make them explain to you what their point of view is and not give them your point of view.”

I think you’ll notice some parallels between Rebecca’s relationship-oriented approach to business and successful coaches that have previously come on the podcast such as Pete Carroll, Luke Walton, and Shaka Smart.

This episode is brought to you by WHOOP and Athletic Greens.

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

Jun 06, 2018
Brett Campbell, Serial Entrepreneur

This week’s conversation is with Brett Campbell, a serial entrepreneur.

He’s currently the CEO of Harvey Partners, focused on assisting new innovative businesses move from startup to business ready.

Brett knew he wanted to run his own business from an early age and this conversation sheds light on his experiences along the way: from learning the ropes working for his uncle, going out on his own, selling his first business, and mentoring others, Brett has seen it all.

 Today, Brett has a reached a level of financial security where he need not work another day, but he loves what he does and can’t envision himself waking up without heading into the office.

At one point in the conversation I asked Brett what advice he would give someone considering starting their own business.

He said: “I get a lot of people coming to me saying, ‘Hey look I’ve got this really good idea and hey here’s an MVP but would you invest in this? I’ve only got part time because I’m still working. I don’t really want to…’ That’s when I turn away. If you’re not totally invested in this, how can I invest in this?” 

What I loved about that is it’s the exact same thing Alex Fiance, managing partner at Kairos said on our new audio series, “The Process.”

Pretty cool. One who’s much further along his journey, another at the beginning yet both seeing things the same way.

If you haven’t had a chance, I hope you’ll check out The Process. We recently released episode 3 and it’s been such a fun learning experience for me.

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens and WHOOP.

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

May 30, 2018
Kaskade, Multi GRAMMY Award-Nominated Musician

This week’s podcast is with Kaskade, a Multi GRAMMY Award-nominated musician who has been a groundbreaking innovator in the dance music world, and a titan in the music industry as a whole.

While bridging the gap between old school music purists and a new generation of music lovers, he marries genres and twists labels to stay true to his roots while pushing the boundaries of what’s next.

Relentlessly touring the world and playing to millions of people around the globe, Kaskade has been in the trenches for over a decade.

His handwriting can be read all over the history of electronic music while his influence maintains an all-time high.

Over the past few years I’ve had the fortune of getting to have so many incredible conversations on this podcast.

What stands out in this conversation is the challenges of being an artist.

The challenge of creating work that comes from a place of authenticity, that is true to who you are, while at the same time wanting to reach as many people as possible and make a living.

We talk about innovation and how he balances fans wanting to hear him plays his hits vs. keeping it fresh and playing new music.

We also discuss how he manages anxiety when it comes to performing and the demands of touring.

For those who are unfamiliar with his music – definitely go check it out!

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens and WHOOP.

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

May 23, 2018
Rich Roll, Plantpowered Wellness Advocate & Ultra-Athlete

This week’s podcast is unique. 

It’s a follow up with Rich Roll but it’s more of a casual conversation between friends than an interview. I also speak quite a bit more than a typical Finding Mastery podcast. 

Rich is a friend and each time we have one of these conversations we always seem to end up taking the discussion somewhere new.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rich, he’s a plantpowered wellness advocate, bestselling author, ulltra-athlete & podcast host.

Rich inspired me to start my own podcast a few years ago after I had such an enjoyable experience being a guest on his podcast.

 He was a previous guest on Finding Mastery – episode #018 – where we predominantly discussed how pain was the main catalyst for the positive changes he’s made in his life.

In this conversation we share some of our takeaways from guests we’ve both had a chance to interview, discuss how to combat perfectionism and the three pillars of a psychological framework that are really important to pay attention to: optimism, control, and grit.

Hope you enjoy it!

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens and WHOOP.

Athletic Greens: Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

Claim here:

WHOOP: Starting today you can join WHOOP for $30 a month, six month minimum to begin. The WHOOP membership service includes the WHOOP Strap 2.0, professional analytics via its mobile and web apps, and a powerful community of performance-minded individuals. To find out more about what they’re doing and join their program, click the link below!

May 16, 2018
The Process: Ep. 3 ft. FiscalNote CEO Tim Hwang

In Episode 3 of The Process, Alex Fiance updates us on the recent public launch of one of their companies, CERA, who offer a personalized home-care solution to the aging population, allowing elderly people to live where they are most comfortable and happy.

We then get to learn from Tim Hwang, the founder of FiscalNote, a Kairos company.

Tim shares why he cares about making societal impact and how his merging interest in technology and politics was the impetus for Fiscal Note. We discuss his company's values, the biggest mistake he's ever made, and why entrepreneurship is about the intersection of risk and passion.

You can find episodes 1 and 2 here:

May 11, 2018
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Satya Nadella needs no introduction. He and his team are guiding one the world's most significant high-tech companies. He's the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, and one of only three in their history.    

The first time I met him (in 2014, when he was just a handful of weeks in as CEO) I was struck by how deeply he listened, his authentic curiosity to learn, and the clarity of how he organized his thoughts. 

It was apparent that he deeply valued, and was going to thoughtfully design, a culture at Microsoft for people to find and connect to their purpose — to experience their life efforts with deep meaning — while at the same time, holding true to their mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

That is so rich. It's what we all want. To live a life of purpose and meaning — and to really make a difference with what we do, and how we do it.

This conversation explores where that comes from for him.

As this conversation unfolds, it became amazingly apparent that at the center of his approach is: empathy — the ability to experience what another person is experiencing, from their perspective. 

As most of you know, Pete Carroll and I formed the company Compete to Create to share the insights that he and I have come to understand about how to train the mind to amplify culture and performance — and it’s been a privilege to work inside the organization with the people at Microsoft who have in turn taught us so much about what it means to be great. 

I'm excited to introduce Satya to this community; one of the brightest minds our world has to offer. I hope you soak it up…

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens.

Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

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May 09, 2018
Sam Darnold, New York Jets Quarterback

This week’s conversation is with quarterback Sam Darnold on leadership, trust, and confidence.

Sam was just selected by the New York Jets with the 3rd pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Over the last two years, Sam has been one of the top college quarterbacks in the nation, playing at the University of Southern California.

I’ve known Sam since he participated in the Elite 11 quarterback camp - which features the best of the best quarterbacks coming out of high school. It’s been incredible to see how far he’s come since then.

You might know him as one of the best rookie quarterbacks, but this conversation shows a different side of him: insight, integrity, humility, and honesty.

We discuss everything from his leadership style, why building strong relationships and trusting himself have been fundamental to his success, and how he’s managed the distractions that have come with his quick rise to fame.

Apr 30, 2018
Chris Ashenden, Athletic Greens Co-Founder

This week’s podcast is with Chris Ashenden, the co-founder of Athletic Greens.

Now I want to be totally transparent here – Athletic Greens is a partner of the podcast but I wouldn’t be comfortable having Chris on unless I fully believed in the product and their mission.

In this conversation, we touch on Chris’ upbringing and how his experiences traveling around the world with his family shaped him -- and ultimately was the impetus for the creation of Athletic Greens.

There were times where Chris was close to broke – living on a diet of rice and beans just to get by - but Chris never gave up.

He refused to alter the quality of the product or the mission of the company even if it meant potentially losing everything.

Chris is grateful he stuck to what he believed in and it becomes clear how his philosophy has rubbed off on the company.

We discuss how to create a culture that stands for honesty and integrity and how to best develop trust with others.

I hope this conversation inspires you – that it’s possible to do things the right way, live with integrity and still succeed in business – and for that matter life in general.

And one last thing - support Athletic Greens and their mission while you’re at it!

Apr 25, 2018
Jim DiMatteo, Retired US Navy Captain

This week’s podcast is with Jim DiMatteo.

After graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 1986, Jim followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and joined the US Navy where he began an unprecedented Naval Aviation career.

He retired as a Captain and has amassed nearly 5,000 hours in 5 different fighter aircraft (F/A-18, F-16, F-14, F-5, A-4) in over twenty-five years of service.

After extensive combat flight time in Desert Storm, Jim was recruited into the prestigious TOPGUN Adversary squadron. It was there that he accumulated more TOPGUN Adversary flight time than anyone in the history of the US Navy and Marine Corps.

He was awarded numerous accolades, including US Navy Fighter Pilot of the Year and US Navy Adversary Pilot of the Year.

After retiring, he became the first Race Director in America for Red Bull and the U.S. Director of Aviation for Brietling.

Jim was recently inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements in aviation.

In this conversation, we discuss how he prepares to make decisions under duress, the role visualization has played in his success, and the most dangerous moments for any fighter pilot.

Jim has lost many loved ones and peers due to the nature of how dangerous his craft is.

He has a refreshing perspective on the things that matter most in life and I hope that rubs off on you in this conversation.


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens.

Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!

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Apr 18, 2018
The Process: Episode 2

Kairos Managing Partner Alex Fiance shares they’ve made a new investment in a company called iBeat, a smartwatch that continually monitors your heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood flow for life-threatening emergencies.

Topics discussed include why they chose to invest, their process for determining if a company is the right fit, what Alex believes are the most important traits for an entrepreneur to have and answers a few questions from the Finding Mastery Tribe.

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Apr 13, 2018
Ali Smith, Executive Director, Holistic Life Foundation

Ali Smith co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director.

He has over 15 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations.

Through his work at the Holistic Life Foundation he has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs at public and private schools, drug treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, mental crisis facilities, and retreat centers, nationally and internationally.

In this conversation we discuss how they got schools to buy into their mission, the way in which they’ve made a big impact in many kids lives, and Ali provides some concrete examples of what his mindfulness practice entails.

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Apr 11, 2018
Cassidy Lichtman, U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team

This week’s conversation is with Cassidy Lichtman, a former member of the United States women’s national volleyball team.

At the age of nine, Cassidy developed a chronic pain disorder in one of her legs and was told that she might never walk again.

Imagine waking up one day with pain. Pain you didn’t understand. Pain that had no cure, no matter how many doctors you visited.

On one side of the spectrum there is the physical pain.

Over a short period of time, that is usually more manageable.

Observe it, notice it, choose not to respond to it and focus on something else.

But what about when you have to wake up with it again the next day and the next day and the day after that.

Therein lies the mental pain.

How would you respond when it feels like you’ve lost control over everything that once seemed to be such a certainty?

Cassidy is a fighter and has persevered her whole life.

Despite unsuccessful efforts to treat the pain she re-learned how to walk and then began playing volleyball. She went on to be a two-time All-American for Stanford and spent five years competing with the United States National Team.

In this conversation, Cassidy shares her experiences overcoming this pain, making the best of the opportunities given to her, and choosing to live her life doing what she loves, not letting her life be dictated by her suffering.

There is so much to learn from Cassidy. She has an incredible spirit, she has perspective on what matters most, and she’s competed at the highest level of her sport.

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Apr 04, 2018
Conor Dwyer, American Swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist

This week’s conversation is with American Swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist Conor Dwyer.

You wouldn’t know it looking at him now, with his 6’5”, athletic frame, three Olympic medals and four World Championships titles to his name, but success in the pool didn’t come easily to Conor. 

He was a multi-sport athlete throughout his youth, settling into swimming as his main focus late in high school. He was good but never quite great and the self described ‘very late bloomer’ struggled to get any collegiate coach to look his way as graduation approached. 

Unlike most of his teammates now on the U.S. National Swim Team there were no red carpet swim scholarships rolled out in his direction. But what Conor may have lacked in head-turning results early in his career he made up for with a gut- wrenching work ethic. 

What changed for Conor? His mindset. His environment. His training.

In this conversation, we discuss how Conor transformed his swimming career: from unrecruited to winning multiple gold medals  at the Olympic Games, 

I hope this conversation reminds you that success doesn’t come early to everyone.

Conor is a great example of what happens to those who build up the capacity to persevere until they get where they want.

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Mar 28, 2018
Admiral Bill Owens, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Red Bison Advisory Group

This week’s conversation is with Admiral Bill Owens on leadership, courage, and relationships.

Bill is currently the executive chairman and co-founder of Red Bison Advisory Group, a company which identifies opportunities with proven enterprises in China, the Middle East, and the United States and creates dynamic partnerships focusing on: natural resources (oil, gas and fertilizer plants), real estate, and information, communication and technology.

He was previously chairman the board of CenturyLink Telecom, the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and was also on the advisory board at SAP USA.

The list goes on and on of important businesses that Bill has been involved with.

Bill began his career as a nuclear submariner. He served on four strategic nuclear-powered submarines and three nuclear attack submarines, including tours as commanding officer aboard the USS Sam Houston and USS City of Corpus Christi. Owens spent a total of 4,000 days (more than 10 years) aboard submarines, including duty in Vietnam.

He was appointed to vice chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second-ranking military office in the United States, by Bill Clinton in March 1994.

It’s through these experiences – serving both in combat and in Washington that has given Bill a unique perspective on the world.

What’s become a common theme in these conversations is the guests have clarity. They know where they came from and what they stand for.

Bill sees himself as a utilitarian. A person who seeks the greatest good for the greatest number.

In this conversation, Bill discusses how he came to live by those principles and shares some incredible stories from serving abroad and beyond.

It takes courage and conviction to make many of the decisions Bill has been faced with and we dive into what being courageous comes down to.

We also discuss what it will take for companies to be successful in the rapidly evolving digital world and why having a mindset that embraces change will be vital going forward.

It was truly a treat getting to spend time with Bill.

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Mar 21, 2018
The Process: Episode 1

Welcome to “The Process” a new audio series from Dr. Michael Gervais and Finding Mastery.

In this series, we’re going to learn about The Process: What really goes on “in the thick of it,” for those on the pursuit of mastery?

In this first season, we’re going to follow Kairos and their CEO Alex Fiance.

Kairos is a global community of fellows, founders & advisors that work together to identify society’s most pressing challenges and then build and fund new solutions to address them.

They focus on areas where outdated industries and governments are failing to meet our communities’ needs.

Over the course of the next 6 months, we’re going to learn about young entrepreneurs tackling the worlds biggest problems – what are some of the biggest problems? How do they find the entrepreneurs they believe can solve them?  How do they determine which companies to invest in? And we’ll dig into the mindset of these entrepreneurs.

Young people have the ability to make a big difference and we’re going to learn from some of the brightest minds of the next generation.

Episode 1 focuses on how Kairos was formed and what to expect over the next 6 months.

Mar 16, 2018
Valorie Kondos Field, UCLA Gymnastics Head Coach

This week’s conversation is with Valorie Kondos Field, often referred to as “Miss Val.”

She’s the head coach of the six-time NCAA Champion, 21 NCAA Regional Champion and 17-time PAC 12 Champion UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team.

Valorie was recently named the Pac-12 “Coach of the Century,” and in 2010, she became one of only two active coaches to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.

She considers the late John Wooden, the legendary and most successful collegiate basketball coach of all time, as one of her inspirations, and closest mentor and friend.

Countless student-athletes praise Valorie for her guidance during their athletic careers, and after they’ve graduated from UCLA and have entered the next chapter in their lives. Included in the hundreds of athletes she has coached or mentored are Olympic champions Simone Biles, Jordan Wieber, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Nastia Liukin.

For Valorie, life is a grand adventure that all comes down to choices.

The moment she found out she had breast cancer is a prime example of the way she chooses to live her life.

In essence, she became grateful that her form of cancer was treatable. Grateful that she could go get chemotherapy for it and she’s continued to live her life that way ever since.

In this conversation, we discuss why she doesn’t believe in failure, why being a pessimist is the easy way out, and why gratitude is the most important habit to train.

Valerie has an infectious personality and this incredible mindset that, “I get to…” rather than “I have to…” and I think it’s something we can all apply to our own lives.

I think you’re really going to love learning from her.

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Mar 14, 2018
Daymond John, CEO and Founder of FUBU

This week's conversation is with entrepreneur Daymond John on the power of clarity, vision, and imagery.

From street hustle -- to Shark Tank to being a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, he has become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs. 

Daymond initially made his mark as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand, FUBU (which eclipsed more than $6 billion in global retail sales).

He started a global brand from the basement of his mother’s house.

Today, the streetwear market that FUBU pioneered is a $20 billion dollar industry.

In this conversation we discuss what has been the driving force behind Daymond’s success, his process for setting goals, and why having clarity is so important to him.

In every single of these conversations I ask the guest if they have a guiding philosophy that shapes their life. 

Daymond likes to ask people if they can describe themselves in 2-5 words. When you’re able to be that concise, it leads to some serious clarity.

In Daymond’s words: “If you don’t know what you stand for, when you walk into a room, you leave it up to us to interpret who you are.”

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Mar 07, 2018
Bob Bowman, ASU Men's and Women's Swimming Head Coach

This week’s conversation is with Hall of Fame swimming coach Bob Bowman, the maestro behind the illustrious career of Michael Phelps.

He’s now the Head Coach for the Men’s and Women’s programs at Arizona State University.

He is a four-time member of the U.S. Olympic Team staff, including Head Coach of the Men’s team at Rio 2016.

He has guided swimmers to 38 Olympic medals, including 21 individual medals and 19 individual gold medals, and 43 World Records over the course of his illustrious career.

Bob comes from a family of teachers and that’s how he views himself: a teacher.

He has experienced an incredible amount of success, but it is all about the process for him.

When it comes to the process, Bob has four phases to his model: discovery, imagination, challenge, and high performance.

This conversation has it all.

We cover the common traits of high performers, how he gets the most out of his swimmers, and Bob shares some fantastic stories about his experiences coaching Olympians Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt, and others.

Bob has been by the side of the greatest swimmer to ever do it for 20 years. I can’t wait for you to learn from him in this conversation.

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Feb 28, 2018
Jeremy Bailenson, Founder of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Jeremy Bailenson is the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab and a professor at Stanford University.

Jeremy studies the psychology of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others.

When I was up at his lab, he ran me through a fear-inducing protocol that completely hijacked my thinking brain. Right up my alley!

In this conversation we discuss Jeremy’s path – why he was almost too early to VR over 20 years ago - and how he dealt with early rejection because of it.

Jeremy shares how he prevailed to run a lab at Stanford that is leading the way for technological advancements in virtual reality.

He is also the co-founder of STRIVR, a company that has integrated virtual reality into the way sports teams train their players.

This is a thought provoking discussion – Jeremy was able to see the future before many of his peers and was able to do the work to carve that path.

For those that are intrigued by the applications of VR, check out his new book, Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do.

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Feb 21, 2018
Adventure Rock Climber Alex Honnold on Mindset, Progression, Pressure

This week’s episode is special. It’s from our first Finding Mastery “Live” recorded at the USC Performance Science Institute.

Seattle Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, USC Executive Director for Entrepreneurial Studies, David Belasco, and I created the institute to teach, train, and research the science, best practices, and applied processes for a high performing mindset in any domain.

That’s our mission.

I can't tell you how excited I am for what we're building - it's got all the makings for something very special for the next generation of doers and thinkers.

The guest for this first Finding Mastery Live is Alex Honnold, someone I’ve wanted to talk to for a very long time.

Alex, in my mind, is one of the most compelling athletes in sport right now.

Alex is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world.

If you're not familiar with free solo climbing, it's literally climbing without using any ropes and harnesses or any protective equipment, relying entirely on the climbers ability, which is just his or her mind, their hands, their feet, and their connection with the mountain.

That's it.

Alex’s mind is extraordinary. His depth of presence, his curiosity, his confidence, his ability to be calm and to think clearly - they all just jumped out in this conversation.

All of those are likely hallmarks of why he's so different than so many other physically talented climbers.

Alex recently became the first person to free solo climb El Capitan in Yosemite, the most iconic wall in the world.

To Alex, this project was just a little bit bigger, a little bit harder, than he's attempted in the past and in his words, it was attainable.

That’s something to consider for when people are pushing the boundaries of human performance and human limits.

Although it looks crazy or reckless to many of us, it is just an incremental step in the direction of growth for them.

You've likely heard me talking about ways to dissolve pressure and not just perform with it.

One way Alex has done that is by having this incredible balance between being mission minded (meaning why and what he's doing in his life) without compromising his ability to lock in and be present with whatever he’s doing.

Alex is a world-class talent and I hope this conversation gives you some perspective on why he’s able to do what he does.

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Feb 14, 2018
Snowboarder Jake Blauvelt on Risk, Confidence, Flow

This week’s conversation is with Jake Blauvelt, one of the world’s best all around snowboarders.

He’s got a smooth, creative and effortless-looking style and it’s lifted him into an elite group of top athletes in the snowboarding world.

Jake’s career started like most other snowboarders: traveling from contest to contest, making a name for himself riding half pipe & slopestyle events, & eventually winning the Burton US Open Slopestyle in 2004, one of the most prestigious events in snowboarding.

It wasn’t long before Jake realized that his was a different calling; his style & his capability on a snowboard belonged in the backcountry, in natural terrain where he could let his endless imagination & creativity run wild where he could find his own lines and make use of the features that nature provides.

Jake sees himself as an artist, not a stuntman and in this conversation we get into everything from how Jake approaches risk, trains confidence, and aspires to live in the state of flow.

Jake is true to himself and I appreciated his willingness to open up.

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Feb 07, 2018
Author Gretchen Rubin on Happiness, Human Nature, Habits

This week’s conversation is with Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen has spent the past decade researching and writing about happiness and is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project

I wanted to talk to Gretchen because happiness is something that every one of us seems to searching for yet some of us have trouble finding.

When you ask people on the street or in a casual conversation, "What are you looking for in life? What does it all come down to?" Many people say happiness. 

What's been interesting is that on this podcast, many of the interesting thinkers and doers have not said happiness. They are looking for something different than that.

I wanted to pull from Gretchen why and how happiness is something that she's spent her life trying to understand.

In this conversation, we have a great discussion on how happiness and habits are linked.

Gretchen came up with her own personality framework – the idea being that each of us fits into one of four characteristics she calls the four tendencies.

These tendencies explain the reasons behind why we do what we do, based on how different people respond to expectations.

We even touch on my own tendencies and she’s spot on.

When we get to that part of the conversation, definitely take a moment to think about where you / others that you are close to, fit on the scale.

Gretchen mentions that, “What’s interesting is that if you don’t understand the tendencies, you might be sabotaging someone else with your advice, even if you have the best intentions.” And this is one of the reasons why I don’t like giving advice.. for more on that.. I did an episode of Tribe Talk on it.

I hope this conversation teaches you a little bit more about yourself and what it really means to be happy.

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Jan 31, 2018
UC Berkeley Rugby Coach Jack Clark on Team Building, Culture, Honesty

This conversation is with UC Berkeley rugby coach Jack Clark on team, culture, honesty.

Jack is the iconic rugby coach at the University of California. His team-building abilities are considered legendary within university circles and throughout the corporate sector.

Since becoming head coach of the Golden Bears in 1984, Clark has led the rugby program to 29 national collegiate championships.

In 2000, Clark was chosen as one of Cal’s Ten Most Influential Sports Figures of the 20th Century.

Not only has Jack sustained an improbable level of success for nearly 3 decades, but he’s not the slightest bit sick of what he does.

In Jack’s words, “I really wouldn’t trade jobs with anyone. I mean anyone.”

Jack has so much to share in this conversation.

Everything from how he brings out the best in his players to how he scales culture to why his players are getting their unofficial PHD in team.

This is a phenomenal conversation and you may have to listen to it multiple times to truly soak up all of Jack’s insights.

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Jan 24, 2018
Part 1: Nutritional Scientist Chris Talley on Maximizing Weaknesses and Minimizing Strengths

Nutritional scientist Chris Talley is my go-to for all things food science. We've worked together with hundreds of professional athletes and Olympians. We worked together at Red Bull with their high performance program, up at the Seahawks and with handfuls of athletes that live right on the edge of intense risk and danger.

I hope you enjoy Chris' mind and world-views as much as I do.

This conversation is loaded so we’ve split it up into two parts.

In part one, you’ll learn about Chris’ journey, his work with many NFL teams and Olympians, and what’s driven him to work so hard to become the best at what he does.

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Jan 17, 2018
Part 2: Nutritional Scientist Chris Talley on The Mechanics of Nutrition

For those of you who care deeply about what you’re putting in your body, you’ve come to the right place. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to part 1, I highly recommend giving that a listen first so you can get some context for who Chris is and why he’s so good at what he does.

I also want to thank our partner Athletic Greens for supporting the podcast and allowing us to keep growing - if you haven’t had a chance yet, go to and learn more about their product. I love it and they’ve got an amazing offer available right now so take advantage of it before it’s gone!

Jan 17, 2018
MMA Fighter Vitor Belfort on Belief, Mindset, Overcoming Fear

This conversation is with MMA fighter and legend, Vitor Belfort, on belief, mindset, and overcoming fear.

I wanted to sit down with Vitor to understand how he has created command of his deep love for people and at the same time has the ability to engage in one of the most brutal and violent sports (mixed martial arts).

Vitor grew up in a tough neighborhood in Rio De Janeiro and from an early age knew he wanted to be a world champion.

He came to the United States to realize that dream.

For Vitor, it all comes down to belief.

One of Vitor’s favorite phrases is: “Learn to love what you’ve been taught to fear,” and in this conversation, we have a great discussion on what it really means to fear something and how to overcome it.

Vitor has a deep sense of clarity - of who he is and what he is after in life - and I hope his clarity challenges you to do the same for yourself.

And for those that listen to this podcast this week - Vitor is singing his swan song on UFC Fight Night 124 - January 14 will be his last fight before he retires.

He's a legend and this could be the last time we get to see him approach mastery in the one of the most ancient and intimate arts of war.


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Jan 10, 2018
Rugby Union Coach Stuart Lancaster on Pressure, Resiliency, Culture

This conversation is with rugby coach Stuart Lancaster.

Stuart is currently coaching in Dublin, Ireland with Leinster Rugby. He was the former Head Coach of the England Rugby team from 2011-2015. 

Failure is something no one wants to experience but almost everyone has to go through at some point. 

Those on the razor’s edge, those that push their own boundaries, curious to see how much they’re really capable of, definitely experience those setbacks. 

For those performing on the world stage, those setbacks occur under a magnifying lens.

Every move critiqued, scrutinized, and debated.

In this conversation, Stuart opens up to us and shares a tough moment in his life that he could have let define him.

Stuart had an impressive rise to head coach of the English Rugby team only to experience some unfortunate shortcomings during the 2015 World Cup, which was hosted on their home soil.

Stuart was let go soon there after.

Stuart takes us through the pressure he felt in the lead up to the games and what he felt what wrong.

He has some incredible insight on building culture, developing resiliency, and becoming a better leader of men and ultimately becoming a better man himself.

Stuart has lived his life on the edge – seizing opportunities when they come his way – and I hope this conversation makes you think about what you’re willing to risk.

What scares you the most?

Where does pressure come from for you? 

What type of value system guides your thoughts?

These are some great things to think about as we head into the New Year.

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Dec 20, 2017
Meditation Expert Sharon Salzberg on Being Present, Letting Go, and Having Faith

This conversation is with Sharon Salzberg on Being Present, Letting Go, and Having Faith

If you know her name, you know where this conversation will go: Mindfulness.

Sharon has played a crucial role in bringing mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture. She first began teaching mindfulness in 1974.

(Note: be careful who teaches you about mindfulness — it’s a very, very “in” thing to talk about, and just like most skills in any field, the nuances that come with a deep commitment to understanding and living in alignment are imperative for anyone you’re going to trust in the process of progression.)

In 1971, in Bodh Gaya, India, Sharon attended her first meditation course. She spent the next three-and-a-half years engaged in intensive practice and study with highly respected teachers from India, Burma and Tibet.

In 1976, she established, together with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts.

In this conversation you’ll hear depth. You’ll hear the sensitivities that come with a life commitment to the nuances.

We explore how Sharon discovered mindfulness and how it can serve as a toolbox for managing suffering.

When Sharon first encountered mindfulness, she was fascinated that there were actual mental tools available to anyone who wants to practice them.

Sharon’s definition of faith is not about dogma or adherence to dogma, but getting off the sidelines and moving right to the center of possibility, offering your heart to something even though you don’t know how it’s going to work out.

And that’s precisely what she did once she had her first taste of meditation.

For Sharon one of the most important things she learned is the ability to “let go.”

To come back to your intention, to come back to the now, without being disheartened, without blaming or hating yourself, for what occurred in the past.

It’s the eloquent returning to now that is the hallmark of world-class doers and thinkers. This is a skill. And mindfulness is one of the many skills that can accelerate the ability to stitch together moments of full engagement.

We also explore how practicing compassion doesn’t mean you can’t still compete and can still have a mindset that allows you to progress and achieve.

Sharon has great insight – for both the seasoned and those just getting into mindfulness/meditation world.

We are living in a highly digital world that is challenging our ancient brain in ways that we are not fully prepared. I hope this conversation stimulates you to step back and remember what matters most: time — and how we live “on-time” with our self, with others, with nature.

It’s through relationships that we become — and that depth only happens in the present moment.

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Dec 13, 2017
Big Wave Surfer Tom Carroll on Being a Maverick, Honesty, Risk

This week’s conversation is with Tom Carroll on being a maverick, honesty, and risk.

Tom is best known as one of Australia’s great surfers and sportsmen. 

I have known of Tom since I was a grom (stoked little kid who flat out loved surfing).

With two world professional surfing championships and three wins at Pipeline (one of the heavier waves in the world) under his belt, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s just a champion athlete.

Rather Tom is a maverick -- in many ways.

Reaching the professional level of any sport has its fair share of challenges, but in the modern era, there is generally some sort of path or map to follow -- like in baseball, gymnastics, or soccer -- there's a variety of developmental clubs / teams / or university systems that help cultivate and weed out those that have "it" and those that don't.

Coaching and feedback along the way and physical training would be assumed,

Tom emerged in an era where none of this existed and essentially had to figure it out as he went. He was part of the beginnings of the action sport and surf industry, before it was an industry. He was making the map, or at least looking for the bread crumbs that other legends before him left behind. 

Tom won 2 titles before he ever saw footage of himself surfing.

That is just hard to conceive in the world we live in today.

This conversation is with a man who fell in love with the water at age 7 and has lived it ever since.

Tom has a relaxed and engaging way of sharing his experiences: as a kid falling for the wild elegance of the waves, as a pro surfer ripping and partying his way around the globe with a bunch of like minded maniacs in the days before social media, as a big wave charger hunting down unridden mountains of water, and as a man who fell into heavy drug use and almost tore it all to bits, before embracing sobriety and re-discovering his better self in the process.

For Tom, rediscovering his better self, came down to honesty. Once he was able to be honest with himself, he could start working on being a better man.

When we think about mastery, I think we are learning there are many paths, many triggers for what drives each of these unique people to go the distance for what they want most. 

What I love so much about Tom and this conversation is it’s raw authenticity -- his humility -- his vulnerability -- his ability to take risks (some to progress his skill, others on the darker side of humanness) -- and his track record of going big on the world-stage. He's earned and is still earning his insights.

It’s easy to get caught up in what you should or shouldn’t be doing. The norms of society: how much money you should make, when you should get married, whether you should do this or that.

Tom has carved his own path.

In this conversation it feels like we get to go back to a simpler time where we get to learn about a journey of a man engaging in the purest forms of life.

Tom is authentic, he’s genuine, and he has an incredible story to share.

I hope you enjoy this conversation.

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Dec 06, 2017
USA Women's Water Polo Coach Adam Krikorian on Competition, Relationships, Sustaining Success

This week’s conversation is with Women’s Senior National Team Water Polo head coach Adam Krikorian.

Since taking over the Women's Senior National Team, Adam Krikorian has been just about perfect.

From his arrival in 2009 Team USA has competed in 18 major FINA Championships and come away with Gold in 15. This includes the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, 2009, 2015, and 2017 FINA World Championships, the 2010 and 2014 FINA World Cups, seven FINA World League Super Final crowns and the 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament.

He's helped the United States maintain a number-one world ranking for the majority of his tenure.

Following the 2016 Olympic Games, Krikorian was named Coach of the Games by the USOC at the Team USA Awards. And in early 2017, Krikorian was also honored by the Los Angeles Sports Council and the LA Sports Awards by receiving the first ever "Extraordinary Achievement In Olympic Sport" honors.

Based on Adam’s impressive resume, you might expect Adam’s definition of success to align with winning, but this isn’t the case.

In Adam’s first year coaching the national team, they won gold at the world championships yet Adam described it as one of his most frustrating and least satisfying moments as a coach because the culture and relationships weren’t right.

For Adam, it’s not about selecting the best athletes but it’s about selecting the best team and there’s so many variables that go into that.

Building great relationships is at the core of Adam’s coaching philosophy and in this conversation we learn about the factors that impact these relationships, how Adam goes about selecting players and creates an environment where people can be honest with others and themselves.

We also discuss why Adam’s competitive fire, which has driven him his whole life, can be both a blessing and a curse.

There is so much packed into this conversation – in Adam’s words, “Mastery is the journey of trying to become the best version of yourself.” And I hope this conversation helps you get a little bit further on your own journey.

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens.

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Nov 29, 2017
Boeing Vice Chairman Ray Conner on Courage, Servant Leadership, Imagery

**if you have any issues with a dead spot while listening, redownload the episode and you should be good to go. There was a technical glitch that occurred for a few people on the initial download.

This conversation is with Ray Conner, who was responsible for running America's largest manufacturing export, Boeing.

If you're not familiar with the company, you've likely put your life in their hands (if you've been in an airplane).

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems.

Ray is the Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company, and a member of the Boeing Executive Council.

We met when he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ray earned his stripes at Boeing - he started as a mechanic long before realizing his vision of becoming CEO.

How does that happen?

While Ray struggled in school, one of his high school coaches taught him the value of goal-setting, self-talk, and visualization which helped pave the way for his future endeavors.

Ray became focused on who he wanted to be as a person, rather than what he wanted to do for work and that shaped his personal value system that he still maintains to this day.

We explore the core principles and practices that guided him which includes being a leader who serves others first and having the courage to do what's right, especially when it's not popular or easy.

I hope this conversation reminds you, or reinforces for you, what it's like to lead with other's well being in mind. 

Nov 22, 2017
Coach Anne Parmenter on Resiliency, Mindset, Ethics

Imagine being within striking distance of your lifelong dream, only to come to a fork in the road. 

Continue onward but in doing so, put others lives in danger, or turn back and potentially never have another shot at fulfilling your dream.

What would you do?

How would you respond?

Ethical decision making under duress is a fascinating process.

I don’t know anyone that says, “I’m a bad human being. I’m a terrible human being and I do bad things. 

But some people put up an armor, a shield of denial, when there is a something at stake they badly want.

When there is money, effort, years of commitment on the line, the moral compass can become clouded.

This conversation with mountaineer and Trinity College field hockey and lacrosse coach Anne Parmenter touches on just that, and more!

Anne has a unique perspective – she’s been in the trenches summiting the World’s greatest mountains and has also coached for over 20 years.

Anne has climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, Denali, Chimborazo in Equador, Mount Blanc in the French Alps, and two expeditions to Mount Everest.  

In this conversation, we discuss how to prepare for moments of true test.

Resiliency has been a profound theme over the course of Anne’s life. We dive into strategies she's used to overcome setbacks and how she helps do the same for her athletes.

We also touch on why the environment you operate in can have a significant impact on your mindset – which ultimately impacts your performance. 

I hope this conversation inspires you to embrace challenges, overcome obstacles, and hopefully gets you thinking – how would you act in a moment of crisis when something you badly want is at stake?

Nov 15, 2017
USC Dean of Religious Life Dr. Varun Soni on Mindfulness, Leadership, Spirituality

Varun Soni is the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California (USC) and the first Hindu to serve as the chief religious or spiritual leader of an American university.

In a time where it feels like we have never been more divided, this conversation is about unity. It’s about empathy. It’s about diversity. It’s about curiosity and regard.

There is so much to learn in this conversation.

Varun has been personally impacted by some of the most influential thought leaders in history… Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, to name a few.

As a leader (and I’m not throwing that term out there loosely) at the University of Southern California, Varun is deeply committed to helping students become, through embracing the tension between differences and commonalities.

His goal is to run the office of religious life at USC as the office of the future – to envision what religion and spirituality is going to look like 10 years from now rather than what it looked like 10 years ago.

In this conversation we talk about how to master the art of living – this includes the importance of asking yourself the right questions, redefining your metrics for success, and the importance of emotional intelligence.

Varun also sheds light on some of the difficulties today’s college students face that previous generations may have thought inconceivable.

Nov 08, 2017
Author David Epstein on Sports Gene, Curiosity, Self-Discovery

This week’s conversation is with David Epstein.

David is author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene. He is a science writer and investigative reporter at ProPublica, and before that was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he authored or co-authored a number of the magazine’s most highprofile pieces.

Despite his success as a writer, David didn’t always know that was what he was meant to do.

Prior to becoming a science writer, David was an 800-meter runner and University record holder at Columbia University, where he studied geology and astronomy. He lived and worked both on a seismic research vessel in the Pacific Ocean as well as in the Arctic as a science researcher.

The trigger for David becoming an investigative reporter was the sudden collapse and death of a friend and teammate during a track competition. David was compelled to get to the bottom of what really happened that day and it led him on a much deeper journey: to understand the relationship between sport and gene.

This conversation is about curiosity. It’s about having the courage to seek the truth. It’s about the commitment to share the truth with sensitivity.

We get into the topic of self-discovery and how valuable “having space” can be when it comes to innovating and pushing boundaries.

We learn about his writing process and how to tell a compelling story.

David’s work ran contradictory to some of the findings of both Malcolm Gladwell and previous Finding Mastery guest, Dr. Anders Ericsson (episode #045 — brilliant), so this is something I was very curious to learn more about.

We also get into the factors that are tied to race, and gender affecting performance in sport.

I found this conversation to be deeply thought provoking and applicable to all, no matter your craft or interests. I hope this inspires you to continue down your path of self-discovery.

Nov 01, 2017
Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington on Well-Being, High Performance, Habit Development

This conversation is with Arianna Huffington. 

Arianna is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.

Arianna has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, in 2012 won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.

With that in mind, a big focus of this conversation is on recovery.

We discuss what it’s going to take to get people to care about recovery and the specific moment that made her realize why it can't be overlooked.

In many of the Finding Mastery conversations, guests have shared how hard it is for them to “turn it off” and in this conversation, Arianna shares some tactics she’s developed to improve in this area, including creating an “artificial” end to your day.

 We get into the keys to her continued success, how she copes with anxiety and depression, and what can be done to fix the current political climate.

Oct 25, 2017
Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton on Coaching, Leadership, Relationships

On this podcast, we get to hear from many different vantage points: artists, scientist, elite military, politicians, those who run highly successful businesses, and those who have been on the razor’s edge in the sports arena.

When it comes to elite sport, there’s a rare breed that have succeeded as both player and coach — and winning championships in both roles is almost unheard of.

That is why I wanted to sit down with Luke Walton, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Luke played in the NBA for 10 years, winning 2 championships.

He’s coached for 4 years, winning one NBA title with the Golden State Warriors.

But even more important to his track record, Luke is flat-out a phenomenal human being.

He was hired as the 26th head coach in Lakers franchise history, the eighth individual to both play and coach for the organization, and is the youngest coach in the NBA.

Luke has been around the game of basketball and legends his entire life.

His dad, Bill, played under John Wooden at UCLA, is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. The father/son duo are the only pair in NBA history to both win multiple NBA titles.

Luke’s had the fortune of being coached by and playing with the likes of Lute Olson, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, and the list goes on and on.

In this conversation, we talk about the impact these people have had on the way he looks at life and how he thinks about improvement.

We discuss how relationships impact performance.

We talk about the mindset that is required to make it at the professional level and why he believes mindfulness is an important part of that equation.

I hope this conversation gives you some wonderful insight into how Luke approaches learning, living, growing and being in relationships to bring the best out of each other.

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Oct 11, 2017
Author Robert Rabbin on Fighting Cancer, Curiosity, Authenticity

In January 2012, Robert Rabbin was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and told he had a few months to live. However, in keeping with his contrarian nature, he took a non-conventional path.

Robert began his professional journey in 1985, after spending 10 years living and working with meditation master Swami Muktananda in India.

Long before then he was on a pursuit – a pursuit to understand the “why”.

The questioning and the wondering, has been the signature characteristic of his life.

Who am I? What is my purpose? What is real?

At 11 years of age Robert asked himself those 3 questions and has been on a relentless journey to answer them ever since.

The spirit of inquiry, wondering, and curiosity has allowed him to go deeper and further than most people – deeper than those that accept a preexisting condition of knowledge.

In this conversation we take a deep dive into mindfulness and the meaning of a “thought stream.”

We discuss why words and language can be insufficient when it comes to truly understanding what is transpiring as an experience of being "here now."

Robert shares how listening deeply without projection, allowing space to be playful, and removing ego are all at the center of what has made him successful.

Robert has developed an international reputation as a brilliant speaker and public speaking guru, as well as a distinguished self-awareness facilitator and leadership advisor.

He's an author: Two of his books that I've appreciated are: The 5 Principles of Authentic Living, and Speak Truthfully.

I hope this conversation drives you to think just a bit deeper and get curious about who you really are. 

Oct 04, 2017
Army Major Mike Erwin on Optimism, Relationships, Transitions

Mike Erwin served in the US Army for 13 years, including 3 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is the Founder and President of The Positivity Project, a non-profit strengthening leadership and relationships through a deeper understanding of character.

Mike is also the board chair of Team Red, White, and Blue, providing a network that helps veterans to combat their tendency to isolate themselves as they go through a difficult transition from soldier to civilian.

When Mike was nearing the end of his deployment, he looked for a way to continue making a difference, and decided to help veterans returning from war.

He's on an endless quest to do good for our country and the world.

This conversation is not a military conversation -- it's about relationships and the commitment to help others transition in life.

It's about finding purpose across multiple professions and staying true to what matters most to you.

Sep 27, 2017
Victoria's Secret CEO Jan Singer on Authenticity, Confidence, Control

In this conversation we sit down with Jan Singer.

Jan is the Chief Executive Officer for Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, the world’s most recognized and beloved intimate apparel company.

There are thousands of apparel companies across the globe. How do the successful one’s stand out?

Part of the success is tapping into the psychology and philosophy of their potential customers. The clothes we choose are in many ways a reflection of our personal philosophy. Jan has a clear understanding of how important it is for her to be clear, open and authentic — as her philosophy impacts those that work with her, and ultimately shapes the experience of the product and customer experience.

We all have choices we make everyday – of our actions and our thoughts — and how we choose to spend time and money.

This conversation touches on that very issue — choice — and the process to choose thoughts that serve us well.

Jan’s authenticity in the conversation is a hallmark for her success in leadership.

We learn about her leadership style and what she learned from her time at Nike, where she held various senior roles for more than 10 years including Vice President of Global Apparel and Corporate Vice President of Global Footwear.

Jan has an uncanny ability to push incredibly hard, to persevere and also has the self-awareness to understand that making time for recovery is just as important.

We discuss the role mindfulness plays in her every day life and a personal moment that made her reevaluate what she values most to this day.

Jan has incredible spirit, has silenced her doubters time and again, and is someone I’ve loved knowing and am excited to introduce you to through this conversation.

Sep 20, 2017
Microsoft EVP Judson Althoff on Striving for Excellence and Finding Balance

Judson Althoff is executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business organization.

He leads the company’s commercial business strategy and over 40k people across the globe in a whole range of functions that need to work closely together in one coherent team for a company in the midst of digitally transforming itself with it’s customers.

Leading that many people who have to work that closely is in itself intriguing. Doing that while being part of a leadership team engaged in one of the most significant shifts in how technology is sold and consumed is another.

This conversation is about continuously striving for self-improvement and Judson’s insatiable inner drive to help others reach their potential.

It’s about continuously striving for excellence, but not at the cost of hurting relationships with loved ones.

We discuss how difficult but important finding balance is and the ways in which mindfulness and an investing in recovery practices can be of help.

We talk about what it means to be a leader and what Judson looks for in others when trying to help others unlock their potential.

We get into what the word “excellence” really means and the factors that motivate him.

If you're hungry to understand the intersection between you chipping all in in particular craft yet at the same time – are searching for deep meaningful relationships with family and friends – this conversation is for you.

My hope is that Judson’s willingness to be open, to share from his heart and his head will inspire you to do the same for others.

Sep 13, 2017
Executive John Nordstrom on Building Corporate Culture, Relationships, Authenticity

This conversation is with John Nordstrom -- of the Nordstrom high-quality fashion retailer in the US -- whose history has gone from a small shoe store, to having over 350 large luxury department stores -- to being publicly traded on the NYSE -- to being in the middle of a potential family buy back.

This conversation is about a man who cares for his family and cares for his customers. It's authentic and it's one of the reasons the Nordstrom company has been successful.

In this conversation, we talk about the steps Nordstrom took in growing the business. John takes us through the history of their expansion and how customer service came to be their number one priority.

We also discuss how to create a culture of trust within a company and how to inspire others to be just a little bit better every day.

We touch on the parallels between running Nordstrom and a professional sports team (he and his family brought the Seahawks to Seattle in the 1970s) and the factors that ultimately lead to running a successful organization.

Sep 06, 2017
Dr. Albert Bandura on The Theory on Creating Human Results

This conversation is with Dr. Albert Bandura.

This conversation was an honor. He's literally a living legend in the field of Psychology -- He's an extraordinarily innovative scholar whose work in social cognitive theory has become an incredible resource in academics and for practitioners dedicated to human excellence

His theories are part the core pillars with my work with elite teams, athletes, and performers. It was a complete joy to learn from him in this conversation, after I've spent so many years from him via research articles.

His research changed our understanding of human learning -- how modeling and interactions impact learning - and how we can become more powerful as humans, in a variety of circumstances. He laid the theoretical foundation for understanding the self-regulatory mechanism for his theory on human agency.

Human Agency is defined as the human capability to exert influence over one’s functioning and the course of events by one’s actions.  

Albert’s “Theory of Agency” has 3 elements. 1st, you have to project yourself into the future to have something to work toward. 2nd, is self-regulation, the extent that you can regulate your thoughts, emotions and behavior. The 3rd is self-reflection, to what extent you can judge your capabilities (also known as self efficacy). Self-Efficacy theory is at the center of much of my work with professional athletes and performers.

While this might not sound novel now, this was a radical idea when he first introduced the concept that: Human beings are not just reacting to influences, they have a capacity to shape the course of their lives.

Dr. Bandura pushed against conventional wisdom by introducing the notion that our thinking influences our behavior, our behavior influences our environment and our environment can influences how we view the world and ourselves.  

Dr. Bandura is game-changer -- a significant contributor to the betterment of human life

Aug 30, 2017
English Cricketer Alec Stewart on Authenticity, Work Ethic, and Vision

In these conversations, it's my intent to really dig, relentlessly dig, to work to understand the truth. The truth of the nature of the conversation, but also the truth of the person.

And opening up is challenging - it's a really hard thing to do, as many of us can recognize, to be authentic and to be vulnerable. 

But in this conversation with Alec Stewart, it just worked and it was a pleasure.

Alec is a former English cricketer, a right-handed batsman-wicketkeeper and former captain of the England cricket team.

He is the second most capped English cricketer of all time in Test matches and 3rd most capped in One Day Internationals (ODIs), having played in 133 Tests and 170 ODIs.

He's got a storied tradition and an incredible body of work.

Alec now acts as an executive director of Surrey, one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales.

This conversation is about enjoyment for relentless hard word and appreciation for the way it feels.

It’s about setting a vision and having the confidence to pursue it.

Alec gives it his best shot with anything he does whether it’s training for his sport or washing his car – it all matters to him.

Some people have a hard time articulating their philosophy but Alec’s is quite clear – how can you be your best if you don’t do everything to the best of your ability.

He’s got a knack for always wanting to achieve more and doesn’t believe it’s possible without the proper preparation for whatever the task is at hand.

And so this is a human being that has excelled on the world stage, that is talking about how he loves the relentless work to get better and how important preparation is.

You know we've heard this story before but it's so unique when it comes from one of the best in the world.

It feels like lightning in a bottle -- he's authentically himself in so many moments and I think you just feel that in this conversation.

Special thanks to Dean Riddle who made this conversation possible while I was overseas on a trip geared towards harvesting knowledge from world class performers, thinkers, and doers.

“Whatever you do, make sure you do it to the best of your ability.”

And lastly please help support Finding Mastery so we can continue to produce weekly content for you! Donate here!

Aug 23, 2017
Texas Basketball Head Coach Shaka Smart on Bringing Out The Best in Others

Shaka Smart is the Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Texas and he's got a phenomenal way about himself.

It just jumps out of this conversation how much he cares about other people, how invested he is in relationships, how he's working to be the most authentic person he can be — and at the same time pull that out of other people.

He's definitely a relationship-based coach, which is obvious in this conversation, and he's got a real crisp point of view about how to help others become their best.

I hope you enjoy learning from Shaka as much as I did and that we're doing justice in these conversations to highlight the brilliance and the genius within people.

I also want to thank Ryan Holiday, a former guest on the podcast, for introducing me to Coach Smart.

And lastly please help support Finding Mastery so we can continue to produce weekly content for you! Donate here!

Aug 16, 2017
Major MJ Hegar on Escaping Death, Remaining Calm, and Trusting Self

First - real quick if you haven’t heard yet, we are pivoting from an ad-supported model to a crowdfunding model and we really need your support!

You can learn more at - it would be greatly appreciated.

We’d love to see this podcast exist for a long time but that only happens if we have your support.

And for those who aren’t familiar with Tribe Talk - it’s where I answer questions related to the podcast and high performance. I just recorded a new episode last week on how to separate who you are from what you do.

You can find it at!

Now to this week’s conversation… it’s with Major MJ Hegar

MJ, one of Foreign Policy Magazine's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013 and one of Newsweek's 125 Women of Impact of 2012, was commissioned into the Air Force through ROTC at The University of Texas in 1999. She served on active duty as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri where she worked on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Her maintenance career culminated in responsibility for 75% of all B-2 maintenance as a Captain and selection as the Company Grade Officer of the Year for 2003. In 2004, she was selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard. Upon completion of her training at the top of her class, she served three tours in Afghanistan flying Combat Search and Rescue as well as Medevac missions.

During her time in the Guard, in addition to the deployments to Afghanistan, Major Hegar flew marijuana eradication missions, wildfire suppression with buckets of water on cargo slings, evacuated survivors from hurricane-devastated cities, and rescued many civilians on civil Search and Rescue missions in California and out at sea.

On her third tour to Afghanistan on July 29th 2009, she was shot down on a Medevac mission and sustained wounds resulting in her being awarded the Purple Heart. Her actions on this mission saved the lives of her crew and patients, earning her the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device (making MJ the sixth woman in history to receive the DFC...the first was Amelia Earhart...and only the second ever to receive it with the Valor Device). In 2012, Major Hegar filed suit against the Secretary of Defense asserting that the Combat Exclusion Policy was unconstitutional. In 2013, the Secretary of Defense repealed the Policy effective immediately.

Talk about knowing what you stand for, having conviction, and going all the way forward.

MJ contributes a lot of her success to the characteristics that were born out of the adversity she faced in her life.

The heart of this conversation is centered around trust. Trust in self and trust for others.

When a crisis arises can you trust yourself to make the right decision and trust those around you.

Will you be able to think clearly and access your craft? Will you be able to pivot? Will you be able to perform eloquently in rugged and hostile environments?

We all have rugged and hostile environments. They don't just involve combat. Every day we have opportunities to get right to our own edge where we're uncomfortable, where our heart thumps just a little bit when we're not sure if we can do the thing that we set out to do.

All of those things show up on a regular basis for us so this isn't just reserved for military operators. Each one of us have moments where we're tested so there's a lot here for us to pay attention to.

MJ talks about the importance of being able to be calm and she has a model that she's worked from which is, "Wind Your Watch" and it's a fun little applied tool that she shares in this conversation.

We talk about the importance of having a cohesive team in the military and why outdated policies on integrating women had a significant impact on that cohesiveness.

We discuss what it’s like to live with PTSD and how to best manage it.

And lastly, we touch on the attribution theory - the way people explain the events in their lives.

Aug 09, 2017
Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts on Culture, Leadership, Alignment

This conversation is with Rick Welts.

He has 40 years of experience in the NBA and is currently the President & Chief Operating Officer of the Golden State Warriors who have just won their second championship in 3 years.

He owns the rare distinction of being part of championship teams in the NBA (2), WNBA (2) and NBA Development League. 

 We talk about risk -- both private and public risk….and how important alignment in life is (who you are and how you live your life.

Rick is known to be a world-class communicator -- and it comes through in this conversation .

You can find more conversations like this at 

Jul 24, 2017
Dr. Harry Edwards on Human Rights, Sport and Society

This conversation is loaded. The center of the conversation is Dr. Harry Edwards journey to impact human rights through the experiences of the African American athlete.

Often times when people are asked, what they want most in life, the response,, without hesitation, is "to be happy -- or to have peace." I know for sure that I don't want, just happiness. I don't want just one of the core emotions. I want to be connected to them all, not muted from the ones that are uncomfortable.

In this conversation Dr. Edwards did just that -- he felt and shared sadness, frustration, fear -- he taught me more about how he lives his life in this fashion, than he did with his words -- and his words are precise and thoughtful.

After completing his Bachelor's degree, he was "on the draft board" for an NFL team and rather chose to go to Cornell University where he completed a M.A. and a Ph. D. in sociology. He later became a professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley from 1970-2000.

He is a human rights activist. He was an influential member of the Black Panthers. He was the catalyst for the famous fist raise at the 1968 Olympic Games medal ceremony for the 200-meter track event.

He was followed by the FBI as he fought for what he believed in.

He's been consulting with the San Francisco 49ers since the mid 1980's

We talk about what he sees as the most pressing issues for sport & society going forward.

This includes the increasing majority of African Americans in the NFL, the impact women’s health care has on the future of college sports and beyond, the issue of marijuana legalization and its relationship to athletes, and why you can either choose to make Colin Kaepernick a martyr or a model.

Jul 17, 2017
Siri Co-Founder Adam Cheyer on Having a Vision, Approaching Insurmountable Challenges, and Authenticity

If you have an iPhone, you know Adam Cheyer's work. He was the Co-Founder of Siri, Inc.

He's now the Co-Founder and VP of Engineering at Viv Labs.

Their mission is to: Radically simplify the world by providing an intelligent interface for everything.

He's also one of the founders of Sentient Technologies, which was founded in 2007 and has generated over $143 million in funding since its inception.

In this conversation, we talked about having a vision for what you prioritize most (he has goals for his self, for the world, and financially). He thinks "at scale."

For example, was inspired by his "for the world” goal.

We talked about the inception of Siri, and where machine learning is headed next, and debated if it's good or bad for the future.

We also discussed how he creates and approaches seemingly insurmountable challenges and achieves them.

Oh -- and Adam is an author of 60 publications and 26 patents.

Also, there are so many pearls of wisdom that are shared in these conversations. If you're looking for bite-sized gems, download the podcast - Minutes on Mastery.

Jul 10, 2017
Author Jon Gordon on Team Building, Relationships, Connection

Jon Gordon is a best-selling author: including The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, The Seed, You Win in the Locker Room First and The No Complaining Rule…..and his newest book: the power of positive leadership

Jon has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends….and….seems like every other week I hear about him speaking to teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB….or keynoting conferences. 

Jon has spirit. And I think people are so attracted to him, because of that spirit. You can't help but want to be better around him.

Jon played Lacrosse for and is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University.

The main themes for this conversation are about - connection, relationships, leading, striving together and how to succeed as a team. 

Jun 26, 2017
Author Wendy Behary on Narcissism and High Performance
Wendy Behary is a founding fellow and consulting supervisor for The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Aaron T. Beck Institute). Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. She is the author of "Disarming the Narcissist -- surviving and thriving with the self-absorbed” translated in 10 languages. Narcissism and world-class achievement have an interesting relationship. When we think of those who excel on the world stage, it'd be easy to conjure up a story that they have a deep inner belief that they can be the absolute best in the world (that's actually not the case, as we've come to learn from many of the folks on the Finding Mastery Podcast. But for those who do hold that belief -- THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND ME BECAUSE I’M THAT IMPORTANT AND SPECIAL --is when my antenna tends to attune to the concept of narcissism. It's the excessive self-centered vanity and lack of regard for others that is one of the hallmarks of narcissism. We can all be self-absorbed, needy….. display narcissistic behavior from time to time…that's not what this is about….it's when the sense of grandiosity is so pervasive that it impairs daily functioning with others, and in essence, within themselves. Narcissism is named for the Greek myth of Narcissus—who was a hunter and when he saw his own reflection in the water, he fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. He stared at his reflection until he died. The way I like to simplify narcissism, is that the person can't tell the difference between himself and everyone around him -- everyone then becomes a reflection of his him -- in which gives him the right to use them as extensions of his own self-worth (even if that means public embarrassment). There was an interesting piece of research in the Journal of applied sport psychology, 2013, by Ross Roberts and team -- where they found that the more narcissistic a person was, the less they benefited from psychological skills training - in other words, all you had to do for them, is turn on the lights, and they came alive. If you have ever thought, am I'm living with or working with a narcissist, or am I a narcissist? Wendy provides ways to tease that out. She dives into why so many elite performs are narcissists, and how we can be more effective with living and working with them.
Jun 19, 2017
Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman on Authenticity, Creativity, and Confidence
Scott Barry Kaufman is primarily interested in using solid psychological science to live a creative, fulfilling, and meaningful life. He's earned his research chops -- He received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Yale University, and an M. Phil in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge. He's the scientific director of the Imagination Institute, and conducts research in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Scott is also an author -- In 2013, he published Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, which reviewed the latest science of intelligence and also detailed his experiences as a child growing up with a learning disability. In the book, he outlined his Theory of Personal Intelligence, which goes beyond traditional metrics of intelligence (e.g., IQ, standardized tests), and takes into account each person’s unique abilities, passions, personal goals, and developmental trajectory. Scott also has hosts the The Psychology Podcast -- where he and I have had fun conversations about performance in high-stakes environments -- ranging from performance in off-terrain back-country conditions to the vulnerability and intimacy in meaningful relationships. Thanks so much for listening and sharing -- I hope you're also finding value in the Minutes on Mastery podcast (also on iTunes and other players) where we capture (in under 3 minutes) pearls of wisdom from our world-class and forward-thinking guests.
Jun 08, 2017
SportsCenter Anchor Lisa Kerney on Growth Mindset, Vision, Being Present
Lisa Kerney is an anchor of the evening and night editions of SportsCenter. In this conversation we learn what it's like to have a childhood dream -- and -- more importantly how to make decisions that map-onto making that childhood dream come to life. When we see people who are doing what they always wanted to do -- they have much to teach us about what it takes to set a long term vision -- how to persevere through the ups and downs -- and how to fuel the passion that is required to "play the long game." Lisa has definitely played the long game, betting on herself, her skills, and her family structure to support and challenge her along the way. I wanted to learn from Lisa how she's seemingly been able to juggle so many facets of her life -- both family and professional. While there's no silver bullet (rarely there is), she points to the importance of going for "big challenges", really being open to coaching (not just saying that), and how important being fully locked-in and present is for her to maximize her time with her loved ones. What I loved about this conversation is that it's really clear for Lisa -- and with that clarity, how the path forward gets much easier to recognize (not any easier to travel, but easier to recognize).
May 31, 2017
Warrior Tu Lam on Warfare, Service, Survival
This conversation is with Tu Lam. Tu is a modern day warrior, respected by his peers to have a very special understanding of elite war fighting. Tu shares how he was raised as a warrior. This conversation will challenge you -- as his world view, his spiritual framework and his warrior craft are beautifully complicated and nuanced. I have an incredibly high regard for those who dedicate their life to noble purposes. There are many ways to live with conviction -- ranging from pacifism to warfighting. This conversation will hopefully help you become more clear on your approach to human rights and freedom. And I'd like to revisit the importance on having clarity on your personal philosophy -- to be able to articulate the framework and filter that helps to align your thoughts, words and actions. Tu has served and fought amongst the most elite units within the United States Military for 22.9 yrs. Tu recently retired, and is now the Founder, CEO of Ronin Tactics, Inc. where he teaches and develops tactical equipment for our military, law enforcement and civilians.
May 24, 2017
Tribe Talk Pilot: What It Means To Set The Mind
Normally we sit down with people who are world class - masters of craft - and we work to deconstruct and decode how they became who they are. I want to do something a little bit different here. The podcast landscape - it's really fun obviously - but there's no rules, there's no path, there's literally no map about how this is supposed to work. One of the things that I've wanted to do is answer some of the questions that come our way through social media. And there's great questions on the Finding Mastery Tribe ( It's our community page that we've activated and I love the questions that come with it. Those that are part of the tribe seem to love them as well because you're supporting and challenging each other. I want to try something out. I want to answer some questions. I'm thinking that either I'll answer the questions that have the most activity around them because obviously it's touching a chord or ones that I vibe with, ones that I've been thinking about a lot as well. This could also be a canvas for me to work out ideas and share thoughts. If this feels useful, here’s a way that I think we can capture it. If you’re interested, send an email to and put in the subject line “Tribe Talk”. If there’s enough interest, we'll create a plan from there, where I can spend the time to do this. This will either look like a growth model or a paid model - we'll figure all that out. A growth model would be, if you help us grow the tribe then that in of itself is worth the investment back to answer these questions and put some real thought and brain power into it. So here's the question: Dan Walsh asked this question on the Finding Mastery Tribe and it's from the podcast with David Goggins. If you missed that, the podcast is a gem and it's definitely worth going back and listening. Dan asks, “What's the difference between setting one's mind and having a mindset?” and it's a great question. You can here my answer to Dan's question in the podcast! If this is a great experience for us and there's utility in it we'll keep doing this. If not, no worries. This is all part of trying to figure out the map and the path if you will.
May 18, 2017
In Remembrance: Tottenham U23 Coach Ugo Ehiogu
This conversation is with Ugo Ehiogu, whom I just met in Great Britain. He was a former English professional footballer. If you're in the states you would call him a soccer player. He had a long career- from 1989 to 2009 and at the time I met him he was the coach of the Tottenham Hotspur under-23 team. Ugo had this inner brilliance, this humility and thoughtfulness that was apparent right from the first interaction. It was the handshake and the eye contact that gave it away. It was the combination of the way that he carried himself with the words that he chose and maybe even more striking was the care that he took to choose the words to find the most authentic way to express what he's come to understand. Ugo and I were not able to finish this conversation and it's heartbreaking. It's for two reasons. The first made sense. He needed to run out onto the field and begin his coaching for his under-23 team. The second reason is harder to process. Ugo passed away at the age of 44 before we were able to reconnect. And I think probably a lot of people would say before they were able to reconnect with him, which is the tragic part of it. I can only imagine what it's like for his wife, his family, and his children. And so with the highest regard for the man that I briefly met and condolences to his family, I did as much reading as I possibly could to understand his life and his death. So many of the people that commented on who he is -- players and coaches and friends -- described him as a great player and a wonderful human. I feel fortunate to have had this conversation and to have had a brief interaction with him and I'm honored to be able to celebrate his genius. It did come through in the short time that we spent together. Thank you Ugo for the time that we spent sharing your insights and reminding us all of how important it is to love.
May 15, 2017
Stanford Professor Tina Seelig on Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Tina Seelig is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering, and a Faculty Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program at Stanford University School of Engineering. At Stanford, she teaches courses and leads three fellowship programs focused on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Seelig earned her PhD in Neuroscience at Stanford Medical School, and has authored 17 books, including Insight Out (2016), inGenius (2012), and What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (2009). She is the recipient of the Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the Olympus Innovation Award, and the Silicon Valley Visionary Award. Tina is on it -- In this conversation we talk about: -the difference between innovation and creativity -how she defines an entrepreneur -having the proper mindset and skills to succeed -the different ways to frame a problem -the power of asking the right questions -why diversity and teamwork are key to successful ventures -how you find out what your passions are, how to unlock creativity -the model she created : the innovation engine This was so much fun -- really hope Tina's path and insights help generate ways of thinking and doing, to help you become the very best you.

May 11, 2017
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff on Risk, Innovation, and Winning
This conversation is with Toto Wolff. If you follow Formula One, you know what Toto has helped build over the past handful of years. He's an owner and the Executive Director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team - along with wider responsibilities as Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. Formula One is known as the tip of the arrow when it comes to motorsports -- their cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, being able to maintain very high cornering speeds (pulling 6g's) by generating incredible amounts of aerodynamic down force. They race at speeds of up to approximately 230 MPH. Toto is a father, husband, and businessman. He knows risk. He knows innovation. And he knows winning. Under his leadership, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has clinched a hat-trick of Formula One World Championships, winning a total of six titles and more than 50 Grand Prix since 2014. The reason I wanted to have the conversation with Toto is because he has an incredible way about how he see's organizational success -- how he balances the financial tension between innovation and risk and how he works with highly talented drivers and engineers and ultimately -- I wanted to understand what is at the center of his relentless drive…..and….how exactly does someone become able to be an owner of a Formula One team (let alone the Mercedes team). This conversation is loaded….Hope you enjoy and are able to put at least one of insights in the conversation into action. Oh, by the way, Toto speaks fluent German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Polish.
Apr 26, 2017
GRAMMY Winner Nile Rodgers on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Music, Collaboration

This conversation is with Nile Rodgers. If you've listened to music in the last 40 years, you've heard his work. By trade, he's a musician and a producer -- He's a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Musical Excellence. He's done the hard yards to understand the nuances of himself and his craft, to be able to express the inner music, in ways that have influenced the rhythms of the world. What I wanted to learn most in this conversation is how Nile understands music, and how he's been so successful collaborating with others to bring out their music. He's produced Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna, INXS, Britney Spears, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Avicii, Sam Smith, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban and Christina Aguilera. And the list goes on and on and on. This conversation is about relationships -- with self -- with others.

Apr 12, 2017
Google Pioneer Chade-Meng Tan on Joy at Scale & Global Peace

Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) is a Google pioneer, award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, thought leader and philanthropist. He retired from Google as its Jolly Good Fellow at the age of 45. He is Chairman of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and Co-chair of One Billion Acts of Peace, which has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore. At Google, Meng led the creation of a groundbreaking mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course called Search Inside Yourself, which was featured on the front page of the Sunday Business section of the New York Times. Search Inside Yourself is also the title of Meng’s New York Times bestselling book which has been endorsed by world leaders such as President Carter of the United States, business leaders such as Eric Schmidt of Google and John Mackey of Whole Foods Markets, and spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Lama. Meng hopes Search Inside Yourself will eventually contribute to world peace in a meaningful way. Meng delivered a TED talk on compassion at the United Nations and spoke at the White House about the development of kindness. His personal motto is, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”. Meng hopes to see every workplace in the world become a drinking fountain for happiness and enlightenment.

Apr 05, 2017
Sleep Expert Pat Byrne on Sleep Science & Leveraging Technology

This conversation with Pat Byrne is really about the building of an entrepreneurial venture based on sleep technology. The importance of getting quality sleep is a well accepted principle, research based, and on average we need to get somewhere between seven to eight hours of sleep a night to be the best version of ourselves, to be vibrant, and to have the capacity to think clearly and quickly. Pat has been one of the pioneers in the field that have been able to bridge well-accepted principles in research with emerging technology. There's so many gems and nuggets in this conversation about sleep and where he comes from and how he’s dedicated his life efforts and why he's become a game changer. He’s definitely shifted the way that professional sport franchises, at least many of the ones that I've been involved with or have friends that have been involved in others, have been able to think about sleep. Before he came along with this technology, there was the talk of how important sleep is but now there’s actually a way to monitor it. I hope that this conversation reveals Pat’s genius.

Mar 29, 2017
Former Pixar CFO Lawrence Levy on Decision Making & Relationships
Lawrence Levy is the author of To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History. It was named Amazon’s Best Business and Leadership Book of 2016 Formerly a Silicon Valley lawyer and executive, Lawrence was hired by Steve Jobs in 1994 as CFO and member of the Office of the President of Pixar. He was responsible for guiding Pixar's transformation from a money-losing graphics company into a multibillion-dollar entertainment studio. He later joined Pixar's board of directors. He then left corporate life to study Eastern philosophy and meditation and their relevance to modern life. He now writes and teaches on this topic and cofounded Juniper Foundation to pursue this work. I wanted to learn from Lawrence - how he thinks about taking on challenges -- how he organizes his thoughts around risk taking -- and how he was able to have extreme success on multiple counts (school, business, family, and the journey within, as well).
Mar 22, 2017
Part 2: TEDx Creator Krisztina "Z" Holly on Innovation, Impact, and Manufacturing
Krisztina "Z" Holly is an MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur, and pioneer. She was curator and host of the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) and founder of two university innovation centers at MIT and USC. Z hosts The Art of Manufacturing podcast and is Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, LA Mayor Garcetti's non-profit initiative to celebrate and support the nation's largest community of makers and manufacturers. In part 2 of the conversation, we discuss what is often overlooked about the manufacturing industry, how to truly make an impact on the world, and why curiosity, courage, and commitment are three words that embody mastery.
Mar 16, 2017
Part 1: TEDx Creator Krisztina "Z" Holly on Innovation, Impact, and Manufacturing
Krisztina Holly is an MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur, and pioneer. She was curator and host of the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) and founder of two university innovation centers at MIT and USC. She hosts The Art of Manufacturing podcast and is Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, LA Mayor Garcetti's non-profit initiative to celebrate and support the nation's largest community of makers and manufacturers. Previously, Krisztina was vice provost for innovation at USC and founding executive director of two innovation centers--MIT Deshpande Center and USC Stevens–which helped launch 39 funded startups and expand innovation ecosystems in Boston and LA. She has been adjunct Professor of Innovation Practice at USC and an advisor and board member to nearly two dozen non-profit and private sector organizations globally, including the Obama Administration and World Economic Forum. I wanted to have this conversation with her to learn how how she develops and innovates at a global scale. She has a track record for building platforms for ideas and people to make an impact. I hope that you will pay attention to how she thinks about risk and risk-taking -- and -- how she approaches authenticity and building, both herself, and others -- and being able to do that at scale.
Mar 15, 2017
Flow Genome Project's Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler on Altered States of Consciousness and Stealing Fire
This conversation is with Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler. Many of you will remember Steven from our conversation about flow state -- if you missed that, check out episode 16 on Ultimate Human Performance. Jamie and Steven are the co-founders of the Flow Genome Project, which is a collection of world-class academics, athletes and artists dedicated to taking flow from the extreme to the mainstream. I've loved being their friend and being part of their community. Jamie and Steven are completely switched-on : smart, quick and divergent thinkers, lovers of life, and are so curious, that they embody what they're trying to learn. This conversation has very nuanced adult themes -- so -- if you're listening with kids, maybe you'll want to consider listening to this one without them depending on however you roll. Steven and Jamie just wrote a book together called: Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work. What I hope you'll take away from this conversation is the value of exploring the edges, the value of community, and how challenging it is to really change.
Mar 09, 2017
Dr. Judson Brewer on Habits, Mindfulness, Addiction
Dr. Brewer is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He is also adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. He's at ground-zero when it comes to using science to explain how mindfulness is working -- For me, this was a fantastic conversation about his journey toward mastery -- and his very applied insights on applying good science to upgrade or enhance the habits that get you closer to the man or woman that you're working on becoming.
Mar 01, 2017
Part 2: Journalist Cal Fussman on Questions, Storytelling, Adventure
In part one, Cal took us deep and he took us into many different parts of his life that were wonderful and surprising. We also had a banter back and forth about questions and responses to questions and the art of storytelling. In part two, he just takes us for a ride. There are so many wonderful stories that he shares with us and what I want to challenge us to do when we're listening is to listen to the art of storytelling. The nuances and the nuts and bolts of the story are important because they're fun, but see if you can go down just a level deeper or two levels deeper to listen how he's constructing and what he's really articulating through the storytelling craft that he's mastered.
Feb 24, 2017
Part 1: Journalist Cal Fussman on Questions, Storytelling, Adventure
This conversation, just like Cal Fussman, gets better as it goes. I really enjoy the conversations, that at the end, I walk away saying, man I'd love to spend more time him/her….This was one of those conversations. He's known for his skill of asking great questions -- yet his talent of storytelling is world class. Questions are to illicit responses and engagement -- and -- there is so much more beneath the surface of an answer -- body gestures, emotions, hints of motivation, and ultimately, snips of the framework that the person is working to share how they understand the world (and people). It's all in there -- does the responder orientate to protect, to embrace… explore, to have fun? And -- Cal takes that understanding to the next level by doing it artistically through storytelling. We all have a story -- thousands of stories. Cal pulls back the curtain to share his -- and the challenge is set for us all to become better at asking questions to learn other's stories -- and -- to become thoughtful on how we share our own stories with people who are thoughtful -- caring -- interested -- enough to offer their time and attention. This is a two part episode -- it's too good, way to good to cram. When you listen to Cal's stories, listen for the framework, for the stuff underneath the surface -- and -- also see if you can listen to how he constructs his stories. We also talk about the art of interrupting others -- during storytelling -- He doesn't -- I do, and we have fun with it (and if you've ever wondered why I purposefully interrupt folks -- it's all by design, and we talk about it just a bit in this conversation).
Feb 22, 2017
Navy SEAL & Endurance Athlete David Goggins on Being the Hardest Human Alive
This conversation is with David Goggins. It's real. This podcast is not for kids -- it's for adults -- who want to understand toughness and authenticity. David is clear. Very clear. He lives in true alignment. He's figured out who he is -- and he lives accordingly. Period. The odds were stacked against David ever making anything of himself. He grew up in an abusive household, barely graduated high school, and struggled with serious health issues, to name just a few of the challenges David had to overcome. In spite of all of these obstacles, David never had a “woe is me” mentality. David is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force tactical air controller training. David has completed multiple ultra-marathons, triathlons, ultra-triathlons, bike races and arduous mountain ascents, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. His achievements made him the subject of a lead feature in Runner’s World, where he was named “Running Hero”, and Outside Magazine named him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” The Navy SEALs even asked him to be their poster-boy and appear in a recruiting commercial.
Feb 15, 2017
Singer-Songwriter Jewel on Music, Insight, Community (ft. Wisdom 2.0's Soren Gordhamer)
This conversation is with Soren Gordhamer and singer-songwriter, Jewel. This week’s podcast is a bit unique. It’s with singer-songwriter Jewel and also features a guest appearance from Wisdom 2.0 founder Soren Gordhamer. Soren’s brought tech leaders and wisdom leaders together to have a deep exchange of ideas and practices with one purpose: how to better impact the living and working environments for us and maybe the next generation. If you're not familiar with Wisdom 2.0, I encourage you to go check it out. Their next conference is in San Francisco from February 17-19. This conversation is primarily about Jewel - her path, her insights and where her music comes from. Jewel’s path is completely her own, yet at the same time, just like yours, just like mine, just like so many of us. She touches on universal concepts and principles that cut across humanity, that cut across all people. It's the deeper calling to belong to love, to touch our own potential and humanity, to adjust to the difficult and stay true to what authenticity means. To me that is a fundamental skill and approach to life, that is right at the center of what she's about. Her courage is demonstrated by her willingness to look within and not turn away from what is painful and dark --and there lies the spring from where her truth is expressed -- and -- in return the music, the movements, the words, and thoughts that come together to form beauty. I hope that comes across in this conversation. As a reminder these conversations are long form. There's no way to hack or shortcut the insights that people have worked their entire life to try to understand. There are no shortcuts for this and so the there should be no short cuts for the learning either. We want to be proficient, we want to be as expedient as we can possibly be in learning, but at the same time let’s embrace the long form and the watering of ideas, knowing that there's so much more to still unpack. In this conversation, we jump into why fear is a “thief.” Isn't that a cool word for fear? We also discuss doing the hard work to figure out who you truly are, what forgiveness means to Jewel, and why perfectionism has been an inhibitor to mastery or her. I want to share this idea one more time with you guys that: “every day is an opportunity to create a living masterpiece.” This conversation pulls on that thread like you wouldn't believe. So together hopefully we can make this commitment to carve our unique paths with some fuel and some fire and just really get after it in life.
Feb 08, 2017
Microsoft CFO Amy Hood on Purpose and Progression
Amy Hood is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft Corporation — whose corporate mission is: “Empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.” This conversation is so good. It’s about so much more than her professional accolades and she’s got them: Harvard MBA, undergraduate degree from Duke in economics, being listed at the #44 spot on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. This conversation is about her commitment to a full life experience, in all of her roles as a woman — as a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a global citizen — and of course as the CFO of one the most influential technology companies in the world, Microsoft. If you’ve ever thought, I’m not sure I can do “that” — whatever “that” is in your life — because you’re too far down the tracks, or you’re not sure how to manage something new — or how to make difficult decisions about work/life engagement — or how to not become consumed with chasing outcomes (while at the same time having world-class outcomes as a by product) — or how to help others grow — I think you’re going to love this conversation. This episode is brought to you by: HelloFresh is the meal kit delivery service that makes cooking fun, easy, and convenient! Each week HelloFresh creates new delicious recipes with step-by-step instructions designed to take around 30 minutes for everyone from novices to seasoned home-cooks short on time. HelloFresh sources the freshest ingredients, measured to the exact quantities needed so there’s no food waste and employ a full-time registered dietician on staff who reviews each recipe to ensure it is nutritionally balanced. For $35 off your first week of deliveries, visit and enter the promo code "mastery" when you subscribe!
Feb 01, 2017
Author Robert Greene on Mastery & Research
Robert Greene is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, and his fifth book, Mastery, which takes a deep dive into the lives of historical figures such as Charles Darwin, Mozart, Paul Graham and Henry Ford. This conversation was on the recommendation from Ryan Holiday (if you haven't had the chance to listen to my conversation with him, it is episode 043). The reason I wanted to sit down with Robert is obvious -- but equally as important as his insights, I wanted to understand what led him to be interested in mastery and power. He has a wonderful way of being committed to principles, and at the same time, being cognitively nimble and agile – a fantastic combination to explore ideas, and at the same time being grounded. We talked about everything from Machiavelli to how people have misused his principles on power – to the importance of having a life task.
Jan 25, 2017
Entrepreneur Anne Devereux-Mills on Leadership, Philanthropy, Parenting
Anne Devereux-Mills is an incredibly accomplished human. She was the chairman and CEO of a number of ad agencies in New York City – which is a massive undertaking. She then transitioned from the corporate world to non-profit programs such as helping start a school in Uganda. She’s had a phenomenal life journey and faced many obstacles -- including being a single mom of two while battling cancer. Anne is now the Chief Strategy Officer for Lantern, a San Francisco based start up that brings mental wellness programs to underserved populations due to the stigma of mental health, access and cost. She is also the founder of Parlay House, a salon-style gathering of over 800 Bay-area women who meet to pull each other forward through a combination of shared experiences, meaningful content and peer-to-peer connections I wanted to connect with Anne to better understand how she's been able to do so much in her life – not just in one arena, but so many arenas. As a single mom parenting, running a business in a male dominated industry, blazing trails in Uganda, battling cancer-- all of that is just an incredible effort and she’s been able to it in a world class way. I hope you'll be reminded from this conversation how important authenticity is -- and how important relationships are -- and how important it is to take risks and do the hard work.
Jan 18, 2017
Entrepreneur Mark Divine on SEALFIT & Mindset Training
This conversation is with Mark Divine. Mark and I first met a number of years ago at a high performance camp (Elite11). Mark served 20 years in the Navy SEALs, retiring in 2011 -- and has taken his insights and best practices from the SEAL's candidate mentoring program to create a warrior-leader training model that involves physical, mental, and emotional, and intuition training -- the idea was to create a training process for corporate teams, sport teams, first responders and warriors from all walks of life -- that were based on what he came to understand from training thousands of special operators candidates across the globe. The company names are SEALFIT (Physical and mental training), and Unbeatable Mind. The reason I wanted to connect with him -- is because he has sincere interest in helping people grow, by pushing their limits, as well as, he has a fantastic command of the basic mental skills that can either accelerate or inhibit progressive learning (pushing boundaries as a way to improve at an accelerate speed requires the intent to do so, and the mental skills to "stay in it" when it's hard." What I hope comes through this conversation is that if you're not training your mind -- seriously training your mind, you're not getting the most out of your potential. We go pretty deep into a handful of mental skills, as well as, specific ways to begin a mindfulness training program. There's no time like now to get started, or to re-start (over and over and over again) training your mind. It's not complicated, but it does take time. Know your ideal mindset (for the craft your invested in). Know the inner-dialog that supports and gets in your way. Invest in breathing, so that you can have a command of your activation levels when you need it. Know you philosophy, articulate your mission in life (in writing) -- and push limits every day so that you can figure out how to think when it doesn't go the way you had planned.
Jan 11, 2017
Seahawks President Peter McLoughlin on Negotiation, Change, Management
This conversation is with Peter McLoughlin - the president of the Seattle Seahawks. When most people think of professional franchises, they think of the athletes, coaches, or general managers. I wanted to better understand what goes into running the business of an elite sport franchise and to better understand how someone switches careers after 21 years of success in one industry to another. Currently, Peter is responsible for all financial and business operations, sales and marketing, sponsorship, and administration of the Seahawks and the business operations for the Portland Trail Blazers. He also directs the management of CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and WaMu Theater. Before moving to Seattle, he served as CEO of the St. Louis Blues Enterprises from 2006-10. For 21 years prior to joining the Blues, McLoughlin served in a variety of executive roles at Anheuser-Busch. From 1998 to 2006, McLoughlin was vice president of corporate media and served as an officer of the company. He negotiated media agreements with television networks that included category exclusivity in 15 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics and dominant presence in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA and World Cup soccer telecasts. He and his wife Kelly have five children. From this conversation, I hope you learn about the art of setting a vision, risk taking, negotiation and the process of grief and loss.
Jan 04, 2017
Big Wave Surfer Nic Lamb on Training For Risk, Making Choices, The Ocean
Nic Lamb surfs very large waves. He’s a professional surfer on the Big Wave Tour, and was ranked number 4 in the world last year. A native to the Santa Cruz area in California, Nic is no stranger to a wave called Mavericks. It’s legendary for how heavy the conditions are. At 14 years old, Nic Lamb became one of the youngest surfers to ever charge Mavericks and was one of the youngest competitors in the event in 2014. He won the Mavericks contest in 2016 — you need to take a look at this wave (see below). I wanted to interview Nic to better understand the concept of thinking clearly in rugged environments. We all have real or perceived threats — we can learn from those who excel, on the world stage, in conditions that are very dangerous. More importantly I hope people take away a new way of thinking about risk — maybe a new– way to re-design risk-taking; it’s not about physical risk (which could be a mistake for those who didn’t tune in because they’re not sure how to learn from surfing) — the real risk is to have the clarity and conviction to stand for something that you love, that you believe in — and this conversation get’s into ways to train your mind, body and craft to excel when risk is required – (recovery, imagery, mindfulness) — and — this conversation is a solid a reminder to be in nature, and to progressively prepare and test yourself as often as you can. Nic is intense, thoughtful, and is charging toward his passions and goals. It’s a fun time to know Nic and watch him push his craft to limits, and the industry. In This Episode: • What’s it’s like to surf Mavericks • Learning how to act from those who came before him • Why he loves and fears the ocean • What happens when he’s trapped under a wave • What drives him to crave victory • Managing relationships with limited time • Implementing a daily mindfulness practice • The importance he places on strength, conditioning, and recovery • Why preparation is key to risk taking • Finding something to obsess over as a starting point for mastery
Dec 14, 2016
Hall of Fame Coach George Raveling on Progression and Being Relevant
George Raveling, referred to by many as “Coach”, is Nike’s Director of International Basketball and has been inducted into numerous hall of fames, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. In This Episode -Parents both passing away at a young age and heading to Catholic boarding school -Surrounding yourself with the right people -Importance of challenging yourself -How to get others to believe in themselves -The meaning of environmental control -The tension between accepting someone and challenging them to do more -How the power of storytelling can help people embrace change -Value of increasing self-awareness -Having a purpose in which you live your life -Fueling his “positive reservoir” -Reinventing yourself every 10 years -Investing more time in the “why” instead of the “how” -Taking time to audit your life on a regular basis
Dec 07, 2016
Lt. Col. Jannell MacAulay on the Air Force, Parenting, Health
Lieutenant Colonel Jannell MacAulay is currently the Commander of the 305th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. She leads a joint team responsible for supporting rapid global mobility to missions ranging from in-flight refueling to combat operations to humanitarian relief. In This Episode: -Why she chose to go to the Air Force academy -Parents instilling from an early age that there were no limits -Rules based vs. value based thinking -The moment she reached a burnout point -Learning to be ok with the imperfect -Her constant battle with finding balance in her life -Why teamwork and self-love are imperative for her -What defines strong leadership -Being motivated by seeing others do well -How she defines success
Nov 30, 2016
Author Karan Bajaj on Mindfulness, Marketing, Sabbaticals
Karan Bajaj is a #1 bestselling Indian novelist with more than 200,000 copies of his novels in print, both optioned into major films. Karan has also worked in senior executive roles at companies like Procter & Gamble and the Boston Consulting Group and was named among Ad Age's "Top 40 Under 40 executives" in the US. In This Episode: -Growing up in foothills of the Himalayas -Value of an individual vs. community in different cultures -The meaning of “Dharma” -The 4-1-4 model -Purpose behind taking a year long sabbatical -The misconception of space in the Western World -Why his employers have been ok with him taking a year long sabbatical -How to determine when the right time is for taking this journey -The tangible return of a sabbatical -Why he doesn’t feel a burden to be perfect -The difference between becoming better and revealing yourself
Nov 23, 2016
Social Psychologist Dr. Dacher Keltner on Emotions, Awe, Power
Dacher Keltner is a social psychologist who focuses on the prosocial emotions, such as love, sympathy and gratitude, and processes such as teasing and flirtation that enhance bonds. He is Co-Director of The Greater Good Science Center and the author of Born to Be Good. In This Episode: -Parents enabling to him search for what he loved -The cost of a passionate life -Utilizing your imagination to tackle anxiety by constructing alternatives -Being overwhelmed with panic attacks that exhausted him -Strategies for controlling emotions through breathing -The difference between feelings, emotions, and sensations -The 15 basic themes in life that matter to us -Showing compassion in the right context -How people acquire power -The problems that arise once people obtain heightened power -Key signs that power has corrupted someone -Helping on the movie “Inside-Out” -The pathways to happiness + joy: compassion, awe, and gratitude -The tensions between compassion and power -Understanding when exerting tough compassion is necessary
Nov 16, 2016
Activist Michealene Risley on Storytelling, Empathy, Sexual Abuse
Michealene Risley is an award-winning writer, director and human rights activist. In This Episode: -Being a “master” of empathy -Why she’s hesitant to include dominance in the definition of mastery -Growing up with dark secrets that she wasn’t initially prepared to face -How slamming her hand in a car door proved to be a life altering moment -Why her childhood experiences have given her a keen eye for picking up on other people’s emotions and past experiences -Making a documentary in Zimbabwe and being thrown in jail -Why the hardest moment in her life was her not being true to her family mission -Comparing and contrasting external success vs. the internal experience
Nov 10, 2016
Just Chill Founder Max Baumann on Millennial Entrepreneurship
Max Baumann is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of The Chill Group, Inc., makers of JUST CHILL® beverages as well as the Founder & President of BASEMAKERS, LLC, an outsourced sales management company in the food and beverage industry. In This Episode: - Philosophy behind his company Just Chill - Why he dropped out of college - The moment when he realized he needed to give up a dream - Growing up in the shadow of his father’s success - What heart means to him - Seeing everyone stressed out at the airport and realizing there was a problem - How he got into the Wharton Fellows Program - A relentless pursue to understand from other people and books - Creating mutually beneficial relationships
Nov 02, 2016
NFL QB Drew Bledsoe on Being a Life Student, Entrepreneurship, Wine
Drew Bledsoe was a star quarterback at Washington State University before he skipped his senior year to go professional. In 1993, he was the No. 1 NFL draft pick and joined the New England Patriots. After nearly eight years he was traded to the Buffalo Bills, then moved to the Dallas Cowboys, before retiring in 2007. Post NFL, Bledsoe pursued a longtime aspiration of owning a winery, which would allow him to combine his passion for fine wine and love of the Walla Walla Valley. In This Episode: -How his parents fueled his curiosity growing up -Why public speaking was the most important class he ever took -The moment where his mentality on going for it changed forever -Why a strong family structure allowed him to not be afraid of failure -Why football was never on the list of his top 3 goals -Putting an emphasis on the minutia on and off field -The most important interview question he asks -How he dealt with losing his job to Tom Brady -Leadership in understanding when people needed a hug vs. the whip -Visualization leading to confidence -Comparing his situation to Dak Prescott & Tony Romo -Embracing pressure rather than seeing it as negative
Oct 25, 2016
Coach Vern Gambetta on Movement & Human Development
Vern Gambetta is recognized internationally as an expert in training and conditioning for sport having worked with world-class athletes and teams in a wide variety of sports. In This Episode: -Learning to control his temper growing up -Being impacted by his dad’s strong worth ethic and mom’s appetite for learning -Not wanting to be labeled anything but “a coach” -Being fascinated by what it takes to be the best in the world -The importance of knowing what it takes to prepare -How he helps people focus on the present moment -The common qualities he sees in great coaches -Finding the right work/life balance -Learning to enjoy the moment rather than focus on what’s next
Oct 21, 2016
Advertising Legend Lee Clow - Creative Genius, Loving, Listening
Lee Clow has been making this thing called “advertising” for more than 40 years. He started at Chiat Day in Los Angeles when there were 10 people and 2 accounts and has been there ever since. In This Episode: -Growing up adopted post WWII -Identifying his passion for art early on -The meaning of “applied art” -How the advertising agency shifted to mavericks leading the way -Looking for the things he could become obsessive about -Why he was drawn to advertising -How the idea originated for the Apple Genius Bar -Finding the romance in advertising, looking for the emotional center of a brand -From form to formless – having a disruptive nature -Working closely with Steve Jobs and why “impute” mattered -Why he’s most proud of the relationships along the journey -Behind the scenes of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign -Needing resiliency to overcome the downside of the advertising business -Finding ideas in listening
Oct 12, 2016
Coach Paul Assaiante on the Longest Winning Streak in NCAA History, Perspective, Courage
Paul Assaiante, current coach of the Men's Squash team at Trinity College, is known for his unique achievement as the “winningest coach in college sports history”, winner of 15 NCAA Championships titles, and 22-year dedication as squash coach. In This Episode: -Obsessing over the outcome at an early age -Identifying his calling.. to be a college coach -Why he’s more fascinated by losing than winning -Utilizing practice as a time for failure -Why practice is everything -Teaching kids to value the process over outcome -What proper preparation looks like -The awesome power of now -Why people fail to perform under the lights -Pride vs. ego -How he gets in his own way -His philosophy… the ship must move forward -Observation as his mindfulness practice
Oct 05, 2016
Neuroscientist Caroline Leaf on What's Possible for the Mind
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. Since the early 1980‘s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection. In This Episode: -The difference between the mind and the brain -Why it mattered that people believed in her growing up -How to increase awareness of thoughts -The mind as an iceberg: explaining the conscious vs. unconscious parts of your mind -The process in which one atomizes their thoughts -Why we are naturally wired for love -Non-judgmental framework as a component of optimal mindset -The toxic thoughts that get in people’s way -The time it takes to form a habit
Sep 28, 2016
Psychologist Anders Ericsson on The Science of Expertise
Anders Ericsson is a Swedish psychologist and Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University who is internationally recognized as a researcher in the psychological nature of expertise and human performance. In This Episode: -His early yearning to understand how knowledge was generated -Seeking a deeper context for learning beyond retaining information -The key to mastering a domain -How his research differs from Malcolm Gladwell's 10k hours rule -Creating “representations” to explore further expertise -The true meaning behind deliberate practice -Difference between expertise and mastery -The ideal method for learning and practice -Applying deliberate practice to less quantifiable facets of life -Whether external rewards are important for motivation
Sep 21, 2016
Watermen Kai Lenny on Risk and Innovation
Kai Lenny is one of the world’s most complete watermen. Be it kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, big-wave surfing, or anything else in the water, Kai does it, and does it well. In This Episode: -His parents leading by example rather than telling him what to do -Learning to rise to the occasion from an early age -Not being afraid to stand out -Fighting perfectionism -The difference between achievement and purpose -Nature understanding him the way people can’t -The powerful relationship he shares with music -When time stands still among the waves -What it’s like surfing Mavericks -The space between hesitation and commitment -Finding flow in the water -Setting goals and working harder than anyone else around him -How he keeps calm under water after a wipeout -Wishing he could turn it on and off better -Emotions as his greatest gift and downfall
Sep 14, 2016
Author Ryan Holiday on Ego, Obstacles, Writing
Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and prominent writer on strategy and business. After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. In This Episode: -The concept of parent-child fit and why it was missing for him -Finding the people who understood him in college -Learning under Robert Greene -His method for ideating and organizing thoughts Why his work can be exhilarating and exhausting -The on-going journey to find inner peace The destructiveness of one's “ego” -How his experience at American Apparel create an intersection of his intellectual work and personal life -His love for stoicism
Sep 08, 2016
ABC's Dan Harris on Authenticity, Panic, Mindfulness
This conversation is with Dan Harris, who most of you know as a co-anchor of “Nightline” and the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” on ABC News -- or 20/20 -- or -- from his New York Times best selling book: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works. Dan has faced the public tension, in a panic attack that happened on live television. In This Episode: -Embracing not taking himself too seriously -Finding love in meditation -The humbling nature of sharing insight with others -The difference between pleasure and happiness -His method for showing gratitude -Surrendering to the process of meditation -Learning from his parents via “show, not tell” -Dealing with not being as smart as his parents and brother -Risk taking integrated in his DNA -The moment before and after his panic attack on live TV -Becoming aware of the triggers for his panic attacks -Having a pre-disposition for anxiety -The emotions around not being nominated for an EMMY this year -External vs. internal rewards -Approaching his newest venture with an open mind -Why being honest with yourself is the easiest thing to do -Inside his meditation practice
Aug 31, 2016
Michael Gervais on His Initial Thoughts from Rio
Michael Gervais gives his initial thoughts from the last three weeks spent at the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Aug 27, 2016
Undefeated Founder James Bond on Risk, Creative, Being Real
James Bond, co-founder of Undefeated, is one of the most recognized and well-curated sneaker boutiques in the world. In This Episode: -Growing up mixed race in a tough Philadelphia neighborhood -The impact his grandpa had on his sense of style -Abusing alcohol & drugs from the early age of 11 -Dealing with anger growing up -Wanting to be someone he wasn’t -Moving from Philadelphia to LA and his introduction into sneaker heads -How he got into show business -Evolving from shoes to a designing a clothing line -What triggers his creativity -The importance of valuing family
Aug 25, 2016
Olympian Swimmer Anthony Ervin - Finding His Authentic Self
Anthony Ervin is a U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, former world record holder in the 50 freestyle, and former World Champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle. In This Episode: -His relationships with others and the water -Family structure growing up and why he wanted to stand out as the middle child -Suffering from turrets and struggling to control his own body -Channeling his anxiety into swimming -What a good coach means to him -Winning a gold medal at 19 and not being ready for the spotlight -How he saw himself vs. the way the media portrayed him -Drugs and alcohol impacting his ability to perform -Expecting to win his first Gold medal in the relay and letting down his teammates -Approaching competition with an optimistic vs. pessimistic mindset -How he became free of past failure -The cost of his success -His contribution to the sport of swimming
Aug 10, 2016
Olympian Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé on Deep Focus, Soccer, and Mindfulness
Stephanie Labbe is the goalkeeper for the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team and is headed to Rio for the Olympics. In This Episode: -Picking between sports growing up -Why she supports children playing multiple sports -Striving to be a positive influence and avoiding being an “energy vampire” -What it feels like to be her best -Confronting her coach after being left off the national team -The positive qualities her parents instilled in her -The mental battle that comes with being a goalkeeper -The strategies she’s implemented to live in the moment -Understanding which triggers get her in her own way -Stepping away from the game to identify what she’s truly passion about -Being aware of which things she can control in her life
Aug 03, 2016
Movement Maker David Yeung on Green Monday
David Yeung is a noted environmental advocate and founder of Green Monday, an innovative social venture that takes on on climate change, food insecurity, health issues and animal welfare with a diverse platform that shifts individuals, communities, and corporations towards sustainable, healthy, and mindful living. In This Episode: -Learning the cost of success from his father at an early age -Figuring out things on his own during childhood -Why he believes in always finding a way to give back to others -What inspired him to create the Green Monday movement -The impact an animal diet has on the environment -Why failure is no longer part of his vocabulary -His ideal mindset and where mindfulness comes into play -How he approaches his mindfulness training -Living mindfully vs. training mindfully -Focusing on the present moment -Channeling business for good -Challenging others to take one action -The success of Green Monday and his vision for the future
Jul 28, 2016
Colin O'Brady: Explorers Grand Slam
On May 27th, 2016, Colin broke two mountaineering world records; he claimed the speed records for both the Seven Summits (132 days) and the Explorers Grand Slam (139 days), climbing the tallest mountain on each continent and skiing the last degree of latitude to the North and South Poles. In This Episode: -Embracing growing up in a mixed family -Putting in just enough effort to get by in his early life -The transition from doing something for fun to doing it as a profession -Adapting to a new environment at Yale -Traveling the world after college -The moment that changed his life – a severe burn in Thailand -Fulfilling his goal of competing in a triathlon -The meaning of Beyond72 -The intensity of the journey to the South Pole -Summiting Everest under harsh conditions -Consistency as a key to breaking the record -Why mental fortitude is so important -Being flexible when chaos ensued
Jul 20, 2016
Jimmy Smith: Creativity, Authenticity, Growth (Part 2)
Jimmy Smith, Founder and CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment, is a creator, who has faced down adversity and celebrates both the humanness and spirituality of people. He has earned countless awards for his work as a Writer and Creative Director for Nike at Wieden + Kennedy, Executive Creative Director at BBDO and most recently, Gatorade’s Group Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. In This Episode: -Striving for diversity within Amusement Park -The story behind Nike Freestyle -Putting the “G” in Gatorade -Identifying the right people to work with -How Nike lost out on Space Jam and what it says about risk taking -Clients not actually wanting to take the risks they claim they are willing to -Heaven sent with Luke Aikens and why he’s comfortable with what’s at stake -Why he listens to others even when he disagrees -Belief as a word that cuts to the center of himself -Why living his live in uncomfortable spots allows him to deal with his inner critic
Jul 13, 2016
Jimmy Smith: Creativity, Authenticity, Growth (Part 1)
Jimmy Smith, Founder and CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment, is a creator, who has faced down adversity and celebrates both the humanness and spirituality of people. He has earned countless awards for his work as a Writer and Creative Director for Nike at Wieden + Kennedy, Executive Creative Director at BBDO and most recently, Gatorade’s Group Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. In This Episode: -Enduring racism as a child and how it shaped him -Why he doesn’t have hatred in him -Refusing to take no for an answer -Where he developed confidence from -Racism in the ad agency world -How he filters through what a great idea is -Figuring out what he was good at -His 1st ad campaign -The importance of having African-American role models to look up to -Working through his relationship with God -Stresswood as a defining moment in his life
Jul 07, 2016
Nicole Davis: Volleyball and Making a Ripple
This conversation is with Nicole Davis. Nicole represented the United States at the 2008 Olympics and 2012 Olympics, helping USA to a silver medal both times. She was also part of the US team that won the 2014 World Championships. In This Episode: -Learning the hard way about the appropriate time to confront a coach -Focusing on what is controllable -Enduring a difficult family dynamic growing up -The impact domestic abuse had on shaping her as a person -The cost of her competitive edge as a child -The difficulty in embracing the good that comes from constant failure -Finding the thing that makes sense to you -Her ability to pick up a new skill quickly -The lonely journey that separates an Olympian from other athletes -Why it’s ok if something is difficult -Her approach to practicing mindfulness -The pressure of the Olympics and how she responded -Importance of understanding where confidence comes from
Jun 29, 2016
Michael Gervais: State of Finding Mastery
Michael Gervais holds a "State of Finding Mastery" to distill some insights from the podcast so far and explain what's he's excited for going forward.
Jun 23, 2016
Nicholas McCarthy: Music, Insight, Investing in Craft
The conversations we have with ourselves either facilitate or slow down the pursuit to understand potential. It is not the external obstacles that determine one’s path, rather, the process of working with the challenges that accompany all of us who want to “go for it” in life. Nicholas McCarthy was born in 1989 without his right hand and only began to play the piano at the late age of 14. In This Episode: -Overcoming a late start to playing the piano -The confidence his parents instilled in him from early age -Visualizing the thing he was told he couldn’t do -His process for embracing challenge -Using imagery as a guide for performing in new venues -Why he loves the piano -The transition from amateur to pro -The meaning behind anything is possible -How he deals with his inner critic -Belief as a word that cuts to the center of what he stands for -Creating a relationship with his fans through music -Exercise as a method for staying mentally strong
Jun 15, 2016
Alyssa Roenigk: Writing About and Living Adventure
Alyssa lives fully – thinks deeply – and captures the point of view and insights from people who have chosen adventure as a way of living. She’s trusted by elite action and adventure sport athletes In This Episode: - What defines action sports athletes - Growing up wanting to be Terry Bradshaw - Moving from form to formless - Pitching the “Madden Curse” - How she finds threads to write about - How do people do things that don’t seem possible - The challenges of writing - How she works through the creative process - Dealing with doubt in writing - Practicing the things you aren’t good at / working on your weaknesses - Cost of greatness - Why movement defines her - Writing controversial stories
Jun 08, 2016
Pat LaFontaine: Being Ignited and Igniting Others (Part 2)
There are no short cuts on the path of mastery and those that carve a path - that has yet be carved - have much to teach us about pushing the accepted norms of what most people think is possible. Pat LaFontaine has done both. In This Episode: -4 ways you can change people -Working from inside-out -Awareness of your thoughts -Having a deep passion for what you do -Understanding the right time to challenge kids -Finding harmony in life -How his concussions turned into a positive for others -The concept of each person having their own “time-machine” -Companions & Courage -Keeping perspective on what matters in life -A hat-trick of passion in a bottle
May 27, 2016
Pat LaFontaine: Being Ignited and Igniting Others (Part 1)
There are no short cuts on the path of mastery and those that carve a path - that has yet be carved - have much to teach us about pushing the accepted norms of what most people think is possible. Pat LaFontaine has done both. In This Episode: -Growing up surrounded by a hard working family -Being the youngest on his youth hockey teams -What ignited his love for hockey -His role models growing up - Setting an initial goal of getting a college scholarship -The moment he realized American players could make it -His legendary Michigan youth club team -The impact Canadian hockey had on his drive to become better -Importance of mindset and being even keel -Having no regrets -Why positive self-talk makes a difference -Allowing experiences to pass through you -The dark place concussions brought him to
May 25, 2016
Angela Duckworth: Passion and Perseverance
Dr. Angela Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. In This Episode: -The value of process vs. outcome -How she first came to value grit -Her definition of grit -Impact of self-control on grit -The differences between achievement and mastery -Sunk-cost fallacy -Setting a goal at the right level -Is passion or perseverance harder? -The 3 kinds of character that are most important
May 18, 2016
Ian Walsh: Big Waves, Facing Fear, Giving
When humility, passion, risk taking, mother nature and service collide: Ian Walsh. In This Episode: The purpose of surfing etiquette -Importance of persistence -The moment when everything clicked -Why being able to adapt is the key to surfing -How a vision became a reality -Overcoming a devastating knee injury in Patagonia -A surf trip to Fiji as a turning point in his life -Thriving in the state of discomfort -His process behind making a decision -What “being content” means to him -Why the fear of surfing big waves doesn’t stop him
May 11, 2016
Pete Carroll: Competing to Be Your Best
Coach Pete Carroll has a philosophy. It's clear to him. He's found it to be extremely powerful to help himself and others to become the very best version of themselves: Always Compete. He doesn’t talk about past success. He doesn't become consumed with what is yet to come. He lives engaged in maximizing wherever his feet are. In This Episode: -Why having a chip on his shoulder helped shape him -The importance of being present -How competition fuels him -Why you can’t be afraid of failure -Creating your own reality -Helping others become optimistic -The moment he knew he had a different vision for coaching -Relationship-based approach to coaching -Why he doesn’t need to talk about winning -Dealing with difficult outcomes -The moments between the moments -The importance of the Seahawks culture -How he instills a risk-taking mentality in his players -Getting to the truth of what went wrong when mistakes happen -Why it all comes downs love
Apr 27, 2016
Kayt Sukel: Sex, Risk, and the Brain
As a cultural scientist, passionate traveler and science journalist, Kayt Sukel has no problem tackling interesting (and often risky) subjects spanning love, sex, risk taking, neuroscience, travel and politics. In this episode: -Her fascination with the brain -Applying to college at any early age -Conditioned learning vs. guided discovery -Little movements forward to take you the distance -Working through curiosity -Importance of having freedom to explore as a child -What is it about sex that drives us -Sex vs. love -Ideas on monogamy -Thoughts on risk taking -Common threads risk takers share -Reaching the edge of danger -Neurology of the brain and its relation to risk -Turning off the overthinking part of your brain -Why curiosity guides her life -How people can become better at risk taking -Which mental skills are most important -How the mind reacts to threat -How you can make your kids better risk takers
Apr 20, 2016
Katie Holloway: Fire in the Eyes
Fire in the eyes. What does that thought conjure up for you? Katie Holloway describes it as what she feels like when she's at her best. She outlines how she thinks and trains her mind to advance her abilities to become more resilient in the face of adversity. Katie is a competitor. In this episode: -Growing up with one leg in pain and externalizing her frustrations -Family involvement throughout childhood -Persevering through constant bullying -What strength means to her -Becoming comfortable in her own skin -Finding her purpose -Her burning desire to prove others wrong -The meaning behind “heart” -Inviting stress into her life to grow -What it’s like having one leg -The rewards of embracing who you are -Implementing imagery to improve one’s craft -Surrounding yourself with the right people -Dealing with her inner critic -The ideal competitive mindset -Her biggest fear on the court -Habits that have allowed her to be the best in the world
Apr 13, 2016
Tim Ryan: Congress, Mindfulness, and Real Food
Congressman Tim Ryan knows how to laugh — and — how to serve. He’s designed his life efforts to help our country be better. I hope you’ll enjoy both in this podcast. In this episode: -Dealing with public skepticism of corruption in politics -How grit helped him win his first election -Defying the odds and taking chances -Inspiring others to work hard with him -Dealing with the heartbreak of a career ending football injury -The meaning of being a leader -Why he cares about politics -Transforming education with a new common core -The importance of new forms of energy -Meditation practices -Why sports lessons can become life lessons
Mar 30, 2016
Nate Boyer: Going for It (Part 2)
Nate graduated high school unsure about his path in life. Looking for a challenge and to make a difference, he made his way to the Darfur region of Sudan to help in the refugee camps. The experience, coupled with his memories of 9/11, inspired him to enlist in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces candidate, and he became one of 11 from his class of 150 to graduate with a Green Beret. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for heroism in combat. In this episode: His role in Waterboys Why veterans can make an impact in 3rd world countrie What you can do to make a difference The importance of water Transitioning from military to sports Going for it with the Seahawks Coping with falling short of a goal Why it’s never too late to go after what you want Merging veterans and players for a common cause
Mar 16, 2016
Nate Boyer: Going For It (Part 1)
Some people think about adventure — and others make their life a living adventure. Nate graduated high school unsure about his path in life. Looking for a challenge and to make a difference, he made his way to the Darfur region of Sudan to help in the refugee camps. The experience, coupled with his memories of 9/11, inspired him to enlist in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces candidate, and he became one of 11 from his class of 150 to graduate with a Green Beret. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for heroism in combat. In this episode: -Appreciating the Process -Being fueled by negative energy -Why you can’t be afraid to fail -Looking up to his father -Why he got into trouble as a kid -The “Blue Collar” Way -The challenges of giving your children everything or nothing -Embracing change and becoming uncomfortable -What motivated him to go to Darfur -Confidence v. Cockiness -Having a purpose -Why making a difference is important to him -Outworking everyone else -Utilizing self-talk -Training the mind to reject negative thoughts
Mar 09, 2016
John Donahoe: eBay, PayPal, Bain... Leadership
John Donahoe served as president and chief executive officer of eBay Inc. from 2008-2015. In this role, he was responsible for growing each of the company's business units, which included eBay Marketplaces, PayPal and Skype. In this episode: -Notion of servant leadership -Being a purpose driven leader -Growing from adversity -Figuring out what’s right for you -The right fit – team ethos -Facing down fear -How success in team sports and business aren’t so different -Emulating his father -Balancing his professional and personal life -Qualities of those who sustain success over time -The importance of grit -The constant process of understanding who he is -Meditation and why “Buddha Nature” is important to him
Mar 02, 2016
Liz Wiseman: Multiplying Genius
Liz Wiseman shares her insights and research on the art and science of leadership. She walks us through her journey that has allowed her to understand how leaders can diminish or multiply the genius in others. In this episode: -How her childhood and relationship with her father shaped her -Observing the different types of leadership in the workplace -Creating an environment where people excel vs. shrink -Space between action and intention -Coping with a tough boss and having the grit to overcome it -Courage to leave the corporate world -Defining intelligence -Intelligence as a tool or a weapon -Struggling with “letting go” -Traits of the multiplying vs. diminishing boss -Disciplines of multiplying leaders -The importance of how one leads in the home -Identifying someone’s native genius -Understanding when to be big and small
Feb 17, 2016
Clint Bruce: On Becoming Tribal - Navy SEALs to Entrepreneurship
What allows one man to move from elite sport (NFL) to elite special forces (Navy SEALs) to serial entrepreneurship? Clint Bruce shares his approach toward life and performance, and his search for elite. In this episode: -Transitioning from SEAL team to business -The importance of performance from the neck up -Business as a delayed gratification -The difference between a profitable and provisional business -Clint's three businesses and what they represent -Knowing who he is -Building a team vs. a tribe -Becoming a tribal person -Coping with pain -Why being blessed is a by product of doing well for others -Defining risk -Meaning of gratitude
Feb 10, 2016
Carli Lloyd: Purpose Driven Work
Imagine there was a global award for what you do, whatever you are most passionate about: parenting, marketing, coaching, law, giving to others, teaching, etc. Imagine being recognized as being THE BEST in the world at that endeavor- the single best. In this conversation we learn from Carli Lloyd. She is just that person. In this Episode: -Significance of winning the FIFA Player of the Year award -Picking up the game of soccer at a young age -Believing her raw talent would always be enough -Being on the verge of walking away from the game -The impact trainer, James Galanis, had on her life -Using the disappointment of loss to tap into the inner-will to bear down and focus deeper -Striving for greatness and never settling -The double-edge sword of perfectionism -Why she wouldn't be where she is without her mental approach
Jan 27, 2016
Rich Roll: Change
If you've ever thought, “If I would have known then, what I know now, I’d shift gears in a heartbeat” — or — If you've ever wanted to shift gears and blaze a new path, but quickly stepped on the excitement by saying," It's just too late now, I've got too many responsibilities” -- or — if you've ever wanted to make a radical shift in your business, but were afraid of what others might think -- you're going to flat out love Rich, and I hope this conversation. Rich set out to figure out his place in the world, and ultra-endurance sport was a way for him to do just that. In this episode: -Using sport as a means to discover true purpose -How work ethic helped bridge the talent gap -The effect of growing up in an achievement oriented household -Coping with social awkwardness and low self-esteem -Fighting an addiction to alcohol & drugs -Living a double life -Becoming vulnerable -Quitting a corporate job and listening to the voices inside -Pushing boundaries -Righteousness and its relation to mastery -Finding one's authentic self -Being in touch with one's character defects -Seeing a journey through
Jan 20, 2016
Steven Kotler: Ultimate Performance
Steven Kotler, a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning journalist, teaches us about "going for it" -- and the path through chronic pain that has led him to explore the neurobiology of flow. Kotler is the cofounder and Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project, an international organization, dedicated to putting flow state research onto a hard science footing. In this episode: -How dealing with lime disease led to discovering flow -Overcoming injury as a skill and finding a way forward (grit) -Writing as his main pipeline into flow -Framework for allowing him to be fully committed to the now -Creativity and passion as triggers for flow -Focusing on the things that produced the most flow in his life  -Making a list of all the things that already work for him -Starting the day in flow -Quitting when you are most excited  -Physical vs. Social Risks -Divorcing self from results -Removing the transitions -Turning fear into a compass -Finding the right language to connect with anyone -The formula for mastery: passion, perseverance, and creativity -Pursuing challenges slightly above one's skill set
Jan 13, 2016
Jon Gordon: Storytelling
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering if you’ve made the mistake of trading your deepest talents — for the security of a good-paying-gig — I think you’ll appreciate the shift that Jon Gordon made mid-stride on his career path. Gordon's best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, MLB coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. Show Notes: 8:02: Where he got his writing ability "Looking back, I realized you had to lose a goal to find your destiny" 12:10 20:12: How faith drives him 32:15: How he dealt with the loss of his mother 39:25: Process of changing his career from a restaurant owner to an author "I believe when you're open and you're willing and you're just willing for the possible, the possible comes" 43:19 50:30: His thoughts on Ernest Hemingway's quote "Write drunk, edit sober" 55:26: Detailing the process of getting his manuscript into publication 1:02:08: Most difficult time in his life 1:13:58: Phrase that defines what he understands most in life "I care about being my best" 1:15:10 1:24:00: How to get it back when you're off 1:28:06: Importance of the mental aspect of his craft 1:36:45: Defining mastery
Dec 16, 2015
Elizabeth Lindsey: Elders' Wisdoms
Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey is the first female and first Polynesian to become an explorer for the National Geographic Society. She has made it her mission to find, preserve and share the knowledge and traditions of indigenous populations before they disappear. Show Notes: 8:43: Where she found her passion for understanding ancient traditions and ancient wisdoms "True masters have nothing to prove to anyone" 10:27 19:20: Determining whether your psychological model or the environment is off "The most powerful thing we can do, each of us, is to find stillness" 23:40 27:20: People who have influenced her and who she was able to learn from 37:47: The best place to bring yourself to when you're unraveling 43:42: How she was able to travel the world for six months without speaking and the tales of her journey 57:17: How to create depth within yourself "Whatever story we choose to tell, if we choose wisely, the story becomes the medicine for others" 1:01:46 1:04:00: How to define an explorer 1:08:20: Habits that are absolutely necessary aside from basic ones in life 1:12:43: Her single most difficult moment in life 1:22:37: Can true elite performance take place if people don't get along on one stage? 1:35:10:Insights on how to become an expert risk taker
Dec 09, 2015
Kevin Levrone: Strength
The path toward mastery requires honoring what is true. Often times what is true can be intensely painful. Kevin Levrone walks us through his journey of loss, grief, turmoil, love, commitment, and risk -- which eventually lead to being inducted into the hall of fame for his craft. Kevin has much to teach. His humility, honesty, and courage to be vulnerable in this conversation is as refreshing and inspiring as you would hope. Kevin is former American IFBB professional bodybuilder and now entrepreneur. Show Notes: 12:03 When his path began to become the best in the world 21:15: Taking his pain out on bodybuilding 30:15: Why he wouldn't change anything in his life 37:05: Gift of faith "I'm willing to endure the pain for the results" 37:20 49:50: Steroids on the world stage 1:02:08 Mental aspect of weightlifting 1:11:41 How he kept himself mentally strong 1:20:04 Why he's hard on himself 1:28:53 Facing a terrible injury and responding 1:36:25 Most effective inner message that allowed him to recover 1:45:05: Deciphering between the good and evil worlds 1:54:28 Defining mastery
Dec 02, 2015
Ashley Merryman: Science of Competition
The origin of the word "compete" emphasizes the notion of striving together (as compared to striving against). Author Ashley Merryman takes a deep dive into the science of competition - and reveals practical strategies people can use to "become better." There's an art to bringing the mechanics of science to life, and Ashley uses storytelling to illuminate the application of good science. Show Notes: 12:11: The quest to always be better 16:27: How she became interested in what she does today 21:19: Extroverts vs. introverts 27:58: Different types of risk-taking "Women are really good at calculating their odds of success and men are really good at ignoring them." 32:36 "The benefit of competition isn't the win...the benefit of competition is improvement... it's improvement in the moment" 37:23 44:01: Why competition is important 50:58: Relevant neurotransmitters for competition "I always thought that motivation was sort of the gas in your car that got you to your goal" 53:12 1:03:43: Why trophies shouldn't be given away for participation 1:12:18: Challenge and threat "It's not whether or not I'm going to be successful with the task, it's can I learn from this? And if I can learn from this, it should always be a challenge" 1:20:18 1:24:31: Putting in work to become skilled in a certain thing and viewing it as a challenge rather than a threat 1:30:40: Most important mental skill for competitors 1:44:25: Defining mastery "Pursuing and acquiring technical skill but using everything in your arsenal, psychological, cognitive, physical, peer support to help you achieve those goals" 1:45:14
Nov 25, 2015
Michael Gervais: Finding Mastery
As the fable goes — there are three paths for each us, to become: The Old Fool: the person who chased external rewards and pleasures. The Bitter Old Fool: the person who chased external rewards, but didn’t get enough. The Wise: the person who searched for insight and wisdom. Likewise, the path of mastery captures deep understanding and insight -- it's not a path that is laying a bet now, by investing in a craft, for payment or recognition at some later time. The spoils of victory might just happen, but the orientation of the intent is paramount. Today we are becoming overwhelmed with the need for instant reward, immediate verification that we are significant -- as a misguided attempt to satiate our thirst for meaning and belonging -- rather, we are propelling ourselves toward an emptiness that can only be filled by temporary pleasures. Our need to belong, to understand, to explore, to connect to others and the world around us, to know safety and to know risk, to express and create are foundational to the human experience. Mastery is a journey — It's a curious and wonderful trail -- that has few, if any, guides. It's much more than the pursuit of expert performance. It's far deeper than high performance and the achievement of success. If Mastery is a path, let's learn from as many voices as we can. The best in the world, from worlds who happen to have camera's pointed at them -- AND -- from the worlds in which no camera is present -- either by design -- or because culturally we might have forgotten to be curious about their path and insights. Simple Joys. Mike
Nov 20, 2015
Dave Phillips: Golf & Entreprenuership
One of the accelerants to growth is surrounding ourselves with people that have insight…..another accelerant is going down the path of developing insight within yourself. Dave Phillips has done, and is doing, both of those. He has devoted the past 25 years to becoming a world-class coach. He is one of the most sought after golf instructors in the country and is rated one of the Top 100 Teachers in the country by Golf Magazine. Show Notes: 6:45: Coming to America at a young age and quickly getting a passion for golf "I found my way... just by watching other players and trying and learning and going to different teachers and so on and so forth" 9:17 "The very best players in the world, they know what they're good at" 9:38 12:22: How he was able to fit in as the new kid all the time "The ones that succeed the best, especially under pressure, they tend to be able to separate themselves from their situation. It's almost like they've got an outer body experience, where they can see things from a higher perspective than everybody else and then they dive back in" 14:52 17:06: Finding the best people and building TPI 24:13: Approach to teaching golf 33:03: Defining what a high performance coach is "The sequence of which you put things together is important especially to help somebody get to that next level" 35:08 41:31: Describing one of his main guiding philosophies 47:39: The biggest cost pursuing his way of living "If you're scared to fail, you'll never really commit, you'll never really put yourself out there and you'll never get to where you ultimately want to go" 53:15 53:54: How he helps people be bold and stand up to try something they normally wouldn't 58:59: One phrase that guides his life 1:05:32: The thing he's most hungry for 1:12:15: His ideal competitive mindset 1:19:15: The most important mental skills in golf 1:25:10: Defining mastery "Mastery is having a great self awareness... it's being able to perform or put yourself out there without fear of failure."
Oct 21, 2015
Ariana Kukors: Swim
In this conversation we learn from Ariana Kukors, who is a USA Olympic Swimmer, current American Record holder and former World Record holder in the 200-meter individual medley (long course). A 2-Time World Champion, Kukors has won a total of seven medals in major international competition- two golds, three silvers, and two bronze spanning a 10-year national team career. After barely missing the 2008 Olympic Team, she set out to explore a deep understanding of her mind and craft. The result was a 2009 World Title and a berth on the 2012 Olympic Team. If you're wanting to better understand the nuances of a psychological framework that supports growth in the face of failure, you'll enjoy where this conversation goes. Show Notes: 5:16: Having everything you could want in a childhood and being active 9:42: How her upbringing made her an olympian “I was a competitive kid and I didn’t win a lot when I was little” 10:57 16:04: Impact of having a serious competitor when growing up “Eventually [Katie and I] ended up training together, which was one of the greatest gifts and some of my fondest memories from my swimming career…day in and day out it was like an olympic final” 16:46 24:03: Person that shaped her life toward mastery 29:10: The dark side to sport and mastery 33:13: Starting out at the olympic trials “I was in first and I wasn’t necessarily looking around to see where everybody was, but I knew at that point I had to something to lose and they were gunning for me” 38:05 42:13: Dealing with the pain of blowing the last lap at the olympic trials “I was really competitive, but I also didn’t see myself...really standing on the blocks with just a ton of passion…” 46:11 49:53: How her dad supported her during the loss at olympic trials 1:00:02: Showing up at the world championships with a quiet confidence “I was excited for the first time to lay everything out on the line and not have an ounce left” 1:00:26 1:06:10: The moment that defined her gold medal-winning race at the world championships 1:08:33: Valuable habits that got her to where she was 1:12:55: How to deal with her inner critic 1:21:13: Her most important mental skill “When it came down to making the olympic team, it was calm that saved me 1:23:20 1:28:08: Defining success 1:29:08: Defining mastery
Oct 14, 2015
Luke Tyburski: Endurance Adventurer
Luke Tyburski has designed the past three years of his life to push the limits of what “we” think to be possible. He’s designed an event to test his mental and physical skills over the course of 12 days, which has been named the Ultimate Triathlon. He’s trained for it for 3 and half years. On October 20, Luke will be taking on a never before attempted challenge- a 1250 miles in 12 day swim, cycle, and run adventure from Morocco to Monaco; The Ultimate Triathlon. Show Notes: 8:15: Life as a journeyman in soccer 12:41: Reasoning for doing the ultimate triathlon "Once I've made up my mind that I'm going to do something, that's it, I'm like a steamroller, I just go for it and do everything I need to do to be able to achieve that." 15:44 24:15: Why he feels what he is doing just needs to be done "During endurance sports...your legs and bodies and shoulders are always going to be in pain...but for me, it's...being comfortable with being uncomfortable" 25:54 28:54: Finding the limits and why he wants people to join him on his journey "I think it's less about the miles and more about the challenge and finding the limits" 28:54 30:43: Most difficult moment in his life 37:03: Seeing where his best fit in with others 48:40: One phrase that governs his life 54:38: Dealing with his inner critic 1:04:06: Importance of mindset and mental skills in completing his journey 1:09:19: Defining success "[Success is] being happy knowing that you've done everything you can do" 1:09:25 1:14:12: Defining mastery
Oct 07, 2015
Keith Power: High Performance
Imagine working to optimize the human performance strategies and outcomes for an entire nation’s elite sport efforts. It’s challenging enough to do so for an elite sport franchise, let alone an entire country. In this conversation with Keith Power, he shares with us how he’s structuring his efforts on high performance for Malaysia. He provides insights on how to align groups of people to pull in one direction. He breaks down his understanding of the art and science of human optimization. Show Notes: 3:27: Growing up in London and how sport influenced his early life "My passion has always been trying to be the best I can possibly be" 5:51 8:15: Getting offered to coach bobsled for the UK and becoming youngest coach at Olympics 13:04: How to get an athlete to balance external motivation "I coached myself most of the time [since] I was 18 years old" 13:58 "I don't think it's about teaching, it's about creating an environment in which people can learn and can make good choices for themselves" 17:29 21:46: Why concepts used in business coaching are way ahead of traditional coaching models in sport "Big part of great coaching is to ask great questions" 22:03 25:44: Number one factor that separates the good and the great "The number one factor that differentiates the good and the great is self awareness" 25:44 33:10: Definition of failure 38:00: What makes up his mental model 41:27: Most important skill for performers to develop 45:12: Where does confidence come from 49:06: How he defines mastery
Sep 30, 2015
Fik-Shun: Dance
Shownotes: 4:30: Reasoning behind not choreographing his dancing 7:15: Trusting your instincts and creating an organic experience for the audience 11:05: Why instincts are the necessary choices 15:20: Type of legacy he wants to leave 18:00: How dancing is like playing a game and you're trying to get the highest score possible 20:48: Manipulating the crowd and controlling their emotions 25:54: Why true perfection doesn't exist 29:20: Living in his head in his early life 34:00: Competitiveness fueling growth 40:15: How to take inspiration from those who are better and worse than you 49:40: Defining doubt 58:29: How to learn from different outlooks 1:03:40: How he'll know when he's truly made it
Sep 16, 2015
Baggio Husidić: Soccer
Sport is a way to learn more about who we are — how we handle success, failure, pain, loss, friendships, challenges and opportunities. In this upcoming conversation, sport becomes the initial “handshake” that has allowed us to talk about the deeper experiences in life — freedom, love, risk, and family. Popularly known as Baggio, Adis Husidić was born in Velika Kladuša, SFR Yugoslavia (present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina). Baggio and his family fled Bosnia in the mid-1990s to escape the Bosnian War, spending time in a refugee camp in southern Croatia, and living in Hamburg, Germany for several years, before eventually settling in Libertyville, Illinois in 1997. Husidić was drafted in the second round (20th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire, and signed a Generation Adidas contract. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy, In this conversion he shares his love for life, his unique path, and his search for meaning and mastery.
Sep 09, 2015
Tom Osborne: Leadership
While in graduate school, a psychology professor asked the class to draw a line across the middle of the paper. He asked us to write down, above the line, three people that have helped shape who we are — that have helped us feel good about who we are. He also asked to list three names below the line, that have negatively contributed to how we see ourselves. The purpose of the exercise was to reflect on the way that people “coached” us from an “above the line” perspective. Coach Tom Osborne is an above the line coach — for tens-of-thousands of men and women. His deep care for others is apparent in the way he conducts his life — and his life efforts. Thomas William “Tom” Osborne (born February 23, 1937) is a former American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and politician from Nebraska. He served as the head football coach at the University of Nebraska football team for 25 years, from 1973 to 1997. Osborne was one of the most successful coaches in American college football history, with a career record of 255–49–3, 13 conference championships, and three national championships. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999. Osborne was later elected U.S. Representative from Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district, as a Republican. He served three terms, from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, he returned to the University of Nebraska as athletic director (AD). He retired as AD in January 2013. He lives a life of love and purpose — and is deeply devoted to his faith, his wife and children, and the service of mentoring others. You can learn about Coach Osborne’s mission at
Sep 02, 2015
Kai Kight: Violin
Some conversations will be with those who summit the pinnacle of their profession —or break molds attempting to scale untold peaks. In this conversation, I was fortunate to sit down with a contemporary composer & innovator, Kai Kight. His background is anything but typical. Sports, Design, Stanford, Violin, Composing. He holds an engineering degree from Stanford University’s d. school where he was introduced to the innovative culture of Silicon Valley. As a Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow and Mayfield Fellow, Kai got an early start in entrepreneurship. Kai began playing the violin when he was 3 years old, was classically trained, and studied under the concertmaster of Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. His music has brought him to perform in venues such as the White House and the Great Wall of China. Today Kai composes his own music using an innovative style on the violin which blends classical technique with rhythms and textures from popular genres such as hip hop and jazz. His favorite composer is Bach, because of the soul riveting harmony and improvisational rhythms. He is thoughtful, articulate, and working to let his heart be felt.
Aug 26, 2015
Volleyball Great Karch Kiraly on Leadership, Passion, Risk
Volleyball legend and three-time Gold Medalist, Karch Kiraly joins the show to discuss his path to Finding Mastery. The ‘winningest’ player in the history of the sport, Karch Kiraly is considered the “Michael Jordan” of pro beach volleyball as he is the oldest player to compete in the sport and continues to perform at the highest level — beating competitors literally half his age. He has won at least one tournament in 24 of the 28 seasons he has played, spanning four different decades.
Aug 19, 2015
Finding Mastery: Welcome
Dr. Michael Gervais is fascinated by the psychology of high performance, in rugged environments. Throughout the past 15 years, Michael has been in the trenches with some of the best performers in the world – some who shift how we conceive what’s possible — others who have pushed their own boundaries — ranging from hall of fame athletes to action sport game-changers, entrepreneurs, Mixed Martial Artists, to musicians who influence the rhythm of the world. He’s excited to share the many paths toward mastery and provide very applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our time together.
Aug 01, 2015