What I’ve Learned From Interviewing 100 SuperHumans
Greetings, SuperFriends, and welcome to a very special episode of The Becoming SuperHuman Podcast… Our 100th episode!
Can you guys believe that it’s been a HUNDRED episodes?
When I first started out, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to 10. And when I listen back to my first few episodes, the absolutely cringeworthy performance I gave makes it all the more impressive that you guys have stuck with me this far.
For our 100th episode, I wanted to do something a little bit special. You see, at the beginning of every episode, we promise to give you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. For the most part, I feel that we deliver on that promise every single week. Though, with 100 episodes, it can be hard to keep track of all of the takeaways we’ve offered on the show. Even I, who records the episodes and then listens to them after they’ve been edited, lose sight of all the nuggets and hidden gems that come out over the course of time.
That’s why, for this special episode, I want to revisit each episode, and offer you the top 1-2 takeaways that I personally remember from each one. I’ll tell you why I think that each one is important, and how it has affected my life. At the end, I’ll also let you know my top 10 favorite episodes, and the top 10 books that guests have recommended.
Let me say, guys, that this was quite easily the most difficult, grueling episode to produce. I spent countless hours over the last few MONTHs digging through all of the incredible ideas, quotes, books, talking points, and takeaways that we’ve shared over the last 2 years. Even with speed reading and memory techniques, it was a hell of a lot of information to go through, and ultimately, a lot of major stuff had to be left out. For this reason, I want to encourage you guys to check out and listen to – or re-listen to – any episode that piques your interest. You just may want to listen to this one with a pen and paper in hand. Either way, I hope you enjoy this very condensed summary, catch a few things you didn’t know, and recall a few things you’d maybe forgotten over the last year or two. I know I did.
Before we dig into it, though, I want to tell you about a very special raffle we’re holding. We’re going to be giving away one Valkee HumanCharger biohacking device to one lucky listener. You might remember the HumanCharger from episode #57, where we talk about transcranial light therapy and it’s benefits. This giveaway is valued at $199, and all you have to do to be eligible is leave us a review on iTunes, and email us a screenshot of your published review along with your mailing address to email@example.com. We’ll announce the winner of the raffle on our social media channels in the next two weeks, so don’t delay.
And now, without further adieu, I’m proud to present to you…
My Top Takeaways From Episode Number…
- Dr. Lev & Anna Goldentouch. In this very first episode, I learned that interviewing people isn’t as easy as you might think, especially in echoey rooms. Just kidding. While the episode offered a nice review of some of the tangential topics related to SuperLearning, the big takeaways here were that I was still finding what the podcast was going to be, and that I wanted to really make it something different and explore different topics than I cover in my SuperLearning courses.
- Erwan Le Corre. In this episode, I interviewed someone who takes a very functional and paleo-esque approach to fitness. My favorite point in this entire episode was the idea that most modern humans don’t even know how to use their own bodies. I loved Erwan’s idea that we are not fragmented beings, and therefore, our workout regimens should not be fragmented. Overall, his movement (pun intended) towards a more natural lifestyle and exercise culture were inspiring to me, because as he said… “The world really needs people who are freaking happy, and healthy, and full of life.” You said it, brother.
- Dr. Anthony Metivier: Obviously, the biggest “takeaway,” if you will, from this episode is that Anthony and I became very, very close friends and colleagues. However, on a more granular level, this episode completely changed my opinion of memory palaces and where they fit into mnemonic techniques. I re-tooled my teaching significantly based on Anthony’s recommendations, placing more emphasis on memory palaces, and a greater emphasis on the field of mnemonics as a whole. Beyond that, Anthony’s influence on me as a mentor and friend has touched nearly every aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. All in all, a pretty solid outcome for a podcast episode!
- Yuri Marmerstein. In this episode, I learned that you really don’t need to be a classically trained gymnast to do amazing things with your body. After the interview, I started messing around with gymnastics, and was amazed at what I could accomplish with just a little bit of practice. My other big takeaway is that the most amazing things are usually the easiest, whereas the most difficult things you can do with the human body are usually not that impressive to onlookers.
- Nelson Dellis. The first time I spoke with Nelson, I gained a deep insight into the world of the competitive memory athlete, and learned that discipline in one sport transfers into every other. Ironically, the nitty-gritty of what memory techniques are being used in the World Championships were not even close to the most interesting things uncovered in this episode. Instead, what I found so interesting was the discipline and regimentation that has made Nelson a 4x champion, and an accomplished mountain climber. Also, perhaps one of the best outcomes of this episode was the in-depth interview that Nelson later honored our MasterClass students with, which to this day is one of the most watched lectures in the course.
- Benny Lewis. Many of you know that I include Benny’s TED talk on learning languages in my online courses, and for good reason. In both the TED Talk and the interview, I very much enjoyed Benny’s carefree, approachable, and fun take on learning languages. My big takeaway here was the system that Benny uses to determine where to focus during his learning journey. Rather than systematizing or following formulas, Benny takes an ad-hoc approach, attempting to speak and assessing his weak spots on-the-fly, which was a big awakening for me. Of course, his other tips on learning grammar and vocabulary were equally worth-while, so if you haven’t heard that episode, you should check it out
- Dr. Andrew Hill. This was the first episode we did on Nootropics, despite the fact that I’ve always been extremely interested in them. There were a few huge takeaways that have actually changed the way I live my life. The first was that tea is a better nootropic than coffee due to naturally high levels of L-Theanine. Another takeaway was that meditation can actually change the brain – but only if it’s done every single day. Finally, this episode reinforced my beliefs on a high-fat, low carb diet, and changed my opinions on what time to wake up, as well as how to do it.
- Ryan “Demon” Ford. To be honest, I didn’t know what to think about Parkour before doing this episode, but I’m glad I did it. What was most fascinating to me was the way that Ryan looks at the world around him and where his body fits into it. Though I haven’t had a chance to experiment with Parkour, it’s still definitely on my to-do list.
- Adi Rotem. In this episode, I gained an understanding of what it actually means to be the best in the world at something, and the sacrifices that it takes to get there. Just seeing the mindset… the determination… The refusal to give up as evidenced by every turn in Adi’s story, really opened my eyes. Beyond that, though, my biggest takeaway was this quote: “Hard work beats talent. Talent isn’t enough. You STILL need to work hard. But if you’ve got talent and you’re a hard worker… This is really dangerous… Watch out.”
- Jennifer Cassetta. I had an incredible rapport with Jennifer during this episode, and really started to feel the difference that having 9 interviews under my belt made. The conversation really flowed much more smoothly, and we managed to get to a couple big takeaways, most specifically, how to avoid dangerous and compromising situations. More specifically, I loved how Jennifer’s work on self defense wasn’t just against violent incidents, but also defending yourself from unhealthy emotional patterns and interactions.
- Maneesh Sethi. Like so many of Tim Ferriss’ personal friends, Maneesh is an absolutely out-there guy, and every time I chat with him or run into him, I’m reminded of that. Perhaps one of the most out-there views he shared was that we can hack our brains into breaking habits within days – not weeks or months. He definitely surprised me with his knowledge of neuroscience, and that made me realize that his company is about much more than shock therapy for retraining habits.
- Chad Foreman. This was the first episode where we really went into meditation. In it, I really shifted the way that I think about meditation. First and foremost, I realized that, as Chad said, “The thoughts will always be there. It’s just a new relationship you have with thoughts.” Additionally, this episode opened up my eyes to the idea that meditation is a gift and offering you give the world, and that if we all meditated more, the world would be a collectively better place. If you’re not already meditating, definitely listen to this episode and get started today.
- Diane Fu. I love Diane. She and I totally hit it off during our interview, and I’ve since flown across the world to have my butt kicked by her. In the episode, I took away the wonderful quote that “mobility is life… If you’re not moving, you’re probably dead.” But perhaps more surprising was Diane’s humility, and her thoughts on ego. As the literal poster-woman for perfect movements and mobility, with her face on the walls of most CrossFit gyms around the world, it would be easy for her to have a big ego, and yet, her biggest message was that we should always check our own egos, lest someone else come along and check them for us. In her words, “Nothing is more blinding than a person’s ego.” Wise words.
- Luis Congdon. I’d be lying if I said that I immediately saw the fit of having a love and relationships expert on a show about becoming superhuman, but I’m really glad I did. First and foremost, this episode opened up my eyes a bit to the possibilities of what I could do with the show, and where I could take it, and helped me realize that I could really focus on any area of the human experience, not just fitness and memory. It would later open the door for some of our most successful episodes on productivity, networking, and much, much more. As far as episode-specific takeaways go, I learned that having a healthy relationship with another human can actually dramatically improve your health. I also learned a little bit about how to properly search for and choose the right romantic partner – namely, that the tactics you use to get into a relationship are the same ones you will use to stay in one. Admittedly, I haven’t been as successful in implementing that takeaway as I would have liked, but hey, that’s neither here nor there.
- Vanessa Van Edwards. I’ve studied body language quite a bit in my life, using it to become a more confident speaker and to improve the way others perceive me. So, I already knew that we can in fact learn to become “alphas,” that I should stand during phone calls and interviews, that my testosterone would increase if I did some power poses, and even that we can change the way others perceive us by changing our body language. And yet, I ended up learning a whole bunch of a new things from Vanessa. First, I learned that we have 3 “windows” in our body, and we need to monitor what we’re doing in each of them at all times. I also learned some of the big takeaways that Vanessa has learned by studying Alpha’s, and some of the reproducible elements of what people call “charisma.” One of the big takeaways for me was realizing that people who are successful in captivating the public eye almost always have impeccable body language skills – and this has definitely been an important aspect of my ability to do things like do a TEDx talk, create more successful courses, be interviewed in major media outlets, and so on.
- Carl Paoli. You would expect that the biggest takeaway from an expert on human movement and gymnastics would be something to do with the body. And sure, there were a few of those – like Carl’s assessment that Burpees “contain the meaning of life,” the idea that literally any skill you learn is transferrable to another area of your life, or the teacher-to-teacher tip that people really need concrete formulas to learn effectively. However, the biggest takeaway for me came at the end of the episode. Carl talked a bit about the legacy he wants to leave and how he wants to be remembered, but then reiterated his comments earlier in the episode: that in order to do good in the world, he has to first put himself and his family in a stable, healthy, and happy position. I think so many entrepreneurs and nonprofit workers want to do good in the world, and set out to do that first and foremost, but Carl’s point really left a mark on me. If I want to help others, I need to first make sure that I’m in the position to give help, love, and support. Since that episode, I’ve focused more on my own health and happiness, and as a result, have been able to give much more to my friends, family, and audience.
- Peter C. Brown. Before this, I had had some memory experts on the show, but never someone who was an expert on learning from a clinical background. It was really great to compare notes and find out that cutting edge research agreed with so much of what I had been teaching in my SuperLearner course for years. Things like spaced repetition, linking memories, visual mnemonic techniques, and learning by doing. However, one big takeaway that jumps out in my mind was the one that disagreed most with my “shortcut” mentality to hacking learning up until that point. “When learning is easy, it doesn’t stick.” Because of this one line, I’ve altered and improved the way that I teach and talk about accelerated learning, emphasizing that struggling with problems and getting stuck is actually an important part of the learning process – something I had never really understood before.
- Mitch Matthews. The biggest message in this episode, for me, was the idea that most of us simply aren’t dreaming big enough. This episode was recorded back before I had fully formed my thoughts on the power of “abundance” thinking versus “scarcity” thinking, and I think this episode was part of that process. Since then, I’ve come to realize that we all carry around a lot of limiting beliefs, and put boundaries and book-ends on our dreams for no reason. If you can’t dream it, you can’t do it, and most of us preclude the amazing from happening before the very first action step. The big takeaway: Dream BIGGER!
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Passive Income. Well, it would be hard to say I learned much in this episode, as I wrote and delivered it without a guest. In it, I went into depth, sharing everything I know about passive income, from the perspective of economic theory all the way up to the actual mechanisms that make it possible. I guess that my biggest takeaway here, after reading the emails and comments, was how much you guys enjoyed it, and that I should experiment more with different formats once in a while.
- Amal Graafstra. In this episode, my mind was opened to a whole new direction that the future could – and probably will – take: implantable technology. I’ve always joked that I would love to have a bar-code on my wrist with all of my credit cards and IDs – but that’s basic compared to what’s being done by more and more people. Amal pulled back the kimono on an exciting new world of possibilities, where you can unlock doors with a wave of the hand, pay for dinner without carrying anything in your pockets, and more. The best part? All of these implants are already available, affordable, and take only a few minutes to “install” in your body.
- Tayo Rockson. Over the last two years, you’ve probably heard me talk a lot about the idea that we each have a “unique gift” – something that we can share with and contribute to the world that nobody else can. Though that’s a very big part of the ideology behind a lot of great thinkers including Tony Robbins, I think I was first really exposed to it by Tayo Rockson. Tayo offers a friendly and accessible approach to motivating and inspiring people to discover what their “difference” is – and how they can then use it to make a difference. It has definitely helped me refine the narrative I tell about the work I do, further leveraging my own unique history to help me connect with others.
- John Michael Morgan. One of my big challenges in life up until this point has been learning to lead others… and this episode was among the biggest factors in helping me surmount it. John cuts away all the fat and hype from leadership thinking and gets to the straight dope. He echoes a really great idea that’s come up a few times in the show since: the idea that in order to achieve something, you have to become the kind of person that logically achieves it. Ultimately, though, the biggest takeaway for me was a book that John pointed me to that I’d never heard of before. That book was The E-Myth Revisited, and it so rocked my world and impacted my business that I’ve recommended it to every entrepreneur I’ve talked to since.
- Rory Vaden. This episode was chock-full of frameworks, new terminology, and processes. Rory is really good at applying names and models to concepts that we’ve all experienced, which I really appreciate. Rory also talks about the difference between changing simple behaviors vs. changing their underlying beliefs, and much, much more. But, if I had to choose one big takeaway from this episode, it’s the idea of just “procrastinating on purpose,” as the title of Rory’s book suggests. Since meeting Rory, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about procrastinating, delegating, or simply refusing to do the things that I don’t want to or am not competent enough to do. I really like the idea that I know what I actually need to be doing to create more time and have more success, and simply removing the guilt around that has been phenomenal. Also, Rory’s closing quote was so good it bears repeating: “Success is never owned, it’s only rented. And the rent is due every day.”
- Dr. Kirk Parsley. Wow. This episode was loaded full of really important and really powerful information, and I owe a LOT of my knowledge about sleep to Dr. Parsley and his work. There’s too much to list that came out of this episode: how to diagnose your sleep, how to sleep better, how napping helps you learn better, how to optimize cognitive performance, and much, much more. My biggest learning point here, though, was Dr. Parsley’s explanation of the sympathetic vs. parasympathetic nervous systems, and how heart rate variability is an incredibly accurate measurement for how you’ll perform at just about anything. Fascinating!
- Gretchen Rubin. I bonded with Gretchen in really big way, and I absolutely love her and her work. For me, there were too many takeaways to list: the importance of selecting a “guru,” the four different personality types and how they affect habit change, and some key insights on happiness. Probably one of my favorite takeaways from Gretchen comes from her book, which I read after interviewing her. It’s the idea of having a list of “Secrets of Adulthood” – things that you discovered only as an adult. I’ve been keeping my own list since reading, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys soon…
- Ben Greenfield. Ben is someone who’s work I admire very much – and I really enjoyed gaining an insight into his unique approach to biohacking. More specifically, he was one of the first guests to open my eyes to the fact that there are no hard and fast rules – that because of biokinetic individuality, there is some variance in what will work for whom. Though some things seem to be unwaveringly true no matter how many guests we interview – for example, eating lots of fresh vegetables and cutting out processed foods – I think it’s important to remember that there is some variance between people. Another lasting impact Ben left was the idea of fasting 12 hours every single day – i.e. skipping breakfast. This goes against so much of what we’ve been told, but I have implemented it in my own life with great success.
- Chris Bailey. Chris and I really hit it off, and have become buddies since this interview. Chris was one of the first people to help me view meditation not just as an emotional and mental health tool, but also as a productivity strategy. I also really enjoyed his self-compassionate approach to simply dropping what didn’t feel right – like waking up at 5:30 in the morning. I also learned that there are 7 criteria that make a task more susceptible to procrastination, and that our brains think in 3’s.
- Harry Lorayne. Just the fact that I was able to interview one of the greats like Harry was an incredible honor. Admittedly, Harry’s approach is a bit old-school – he doesn’t believe that diet or supplementation can improve memory, and vehemently rejects the validity of the memory palace technique that is used by all of the world’s champions and record holders. With that said, he and his incredible career demonstrate just how much you can improve your memory, simply using basic visual mnemonic techniques.
- Hal Elrod. Hal is another guest who is really good about creating easy-to-understand frameworks and memorable quotes. Though I have to admit I have yet to try his “miracle morning” routine, I still took away a lot from his episode. One of my biggest takeaways of the last 2 years was the idea that if I want to have certain results or outcomes in my life, it’s not about changing behaviors or attitudes – it’s about fully becoming the type of person who achieves those outcomes – i.e. reinventing yourself. I’ve heard it many times since – but I learned it from Hal.
- Brad Pilon. In this episode we went deep into the idea of intermittent fasting – fasts that range from 18-24 hours. A few big takeaways came from this episode. One was just how the fitness and supplementation industry works, and the constraints that they’re operating under. #2 was obviously the massive benefit of intermittent fasting – which I’ve implemented into my own life. And #3 was that this episode made me abandon my aspiration of improved ab definition. As Brad informed me, keeping your body fat as low as fitness models is not only damn near impossible on a part-time basis, but it’s also bloody miserable.
- Ari Meisel. I’ve been a productivity enthusiast for years, and yet my episode with Ari Meisel really opened my eyes. It helped me realize that you actually can accomplish incredible things simply by working two days a week. It renewed my faith in outsourcing – which was one of the reasons I hired a few more people to help manage this company. I also realized that a lot of the work I was doing was just to make me feel busy. Over the last few months, I’ve worked between 10 and 25 hours a week, and I know that this episode with Ari is in part to thank.
- John Lee Dumas. It’s simply incredible what John has been able to do. I guess the biggest takeaway from this episode was just how much more I could be doing. If it weren’t for John, I definitely would NOT have built my MasterClass. Furthermore, he is the one who pushed me to do webinars, which are currently helping grow my business. Ultimately, however, John has just been a huge inspiration for me as a solopreneur, showing me just how much you can help others, earn a killer living, and find fulfillment, all without sacrificing your quality of life.
- Shane Stott. In this episode, we revisited an interesting biohack that I employed a lot in high school – sensory deprivation. Though I still haven’t found an affordable tank for rent in Israel, the episode still provided a ton of value for me. I learned about the efficacy of transdermal magnesium absorption, and also was exposed to the idea that floating is basically meditation made easier.
- Dr. Anthony Metivier (Part 2). If you guys remember, this was the 2-part mega episode where Anthony and I drank a bottle of wine each and answered questions in a live broadcast. The biggest and most lasting result of that episode? It was the last time I had a drink! But beyond a life-changing hangover, Anthony and I covered a ton of topics over the course of 2 hours – too much to summarize in a few sentences. I guess one of the biggest takeaways, if I had to pick one, is the idea of digging your wells before your thirsty – i.e. plan ahead!
- Abel James. In this episode, I was exposed for one of the first times to the idea of a high-fat diet. Though I knew about paleo, I think I was still stuck in the thought that you shouldn’t eat too much fat. Abel definitely set me straight, and from then on, I consumed much higher proportions of fat in my diet with great success. The rest of the advice he gave has been repeated by every guest since: eat more vegetables, cut out processed crap… But one thing he said really stuck with me, and that’s the idea of a holistic approach to lifestyle. It’s not just diet that’s making us sick… it’s our entire environment – and we can change it.
- Nick Littlehales. I have to say that I’ve always been pretty interested in sleep as an area for improved performance – and after talking with Kirk Parsley, I thought I knew it all. I was wrong. Nick blew my mind, opening it up the the whole world of deliberately designing your sleep environment. We talked pillows. We talked sheets. We talked beds, and how to know what your body needs. This episode was the most expensive one to produce – namely because I’ve spent thousands of dollars improving my sleep environment based on Nick’s suggestions – but it was well worth it.
- Anna and Lev Goldentouch (Part 2). In this episode, we dove into the idea of how you can apply accelerated learning techniques to raising your children. Though I unfortunately don’t yet have children, I learned a lot in the episode about how to interact with children in a way that maximizes their learning. Ultimately, my big takeaway was that it’s more about the interaction style than it is about giving lectures or sharing tools – and I can’t wait to put it into practice one day.
- Robb Wolf. This was an exciting opportunity to interview one of my heroes, and he definitely didn’t disappoint. Though we covered all things paleo, truthfully, a lot of that was not new information to me. What was, however, was learning how Robb’s opinions have changed, and how he has relaxed his guidelines since originally publishing his blockbuster book. Robb helped clarify a lot of things that were still question marks for me, like hummus, dairy, sweeteners, and cheat days – and for that reason, I think it was one of our best ever episodes.
- Kris Carr. I came into this episode expecting to learn how Kris used diet and nutrition to survive cancer. Instead, my big takeaways were really just the power of mindset. Kris’ incredible positivity and control over her emotional state were so apparent, I started to realize just how much it influences her physical health – and that of all of us. Kris and I both agreed on a really beautiful point towards the end of the interview… It’s not OK not to take care of yourself.
- Dr. Tami Meraglia. After Ben Greenfield mentioned hormones and how chemicals around us influence them, I was eager to get an expert on the show to clear this up for us. Dr. Tami was just that. She helped me understand just how harmful many of the “safe” chemicals in our products are – a topic that I went on to research much, much further. This interview with Dr. Tami was the deciding factor that lead me to creating an entire course on testosterone optimization, and I referred to her work during the research and development quite a bit.
- Dr. Loren Cordain. In this episode, we went into a deep dive of the paleo diet and how it was discovered. Whereas Robb Wolf made the case for more flexibility, Dr. Cordain presented the opposite view. There were a lot of big takeaways here about our living environments, supplementation, and more – but perhaps the one that stuck with me the most is the idea that we could have never gotten to such an overpopulated number if we had remained on our natural paleo diet – for better or worse.
- Timothy Moser. I enjoyed talking to Timothy so much, partly because we share the same two passions and vocations: productivity and mnemonics. Tim and I agree on so much, but nonetheless, I did learn something really cool from him during this episode: an innovative way to organize language-learning memory palaces to blast through grammatical challenges. I wish I had started learning Russian the way that Timothy teaches Spanish – it would have saved me so much time and effort.
- Michelle Tam. Michelle Tam was the third of our 3-part series on paleo, and the goal of the episode was to give people some practical strategies and recipes to implement paleo in their lives. Thanks to this episode, I discovered the incredible health benefits of bone broth and began regularly making it, and also, I discovered Michelle’s incredible recipe for Cracklin’ Chicken. It’s become one of my staples!
- Kamal Patel. In this episode, I learned just how misleading scientific studies can be, and why it’s important to have unbiased and professionally trained third parties review and summarize scientific research. Perhaps most troubling was the realization that after years of working to review tens of thousands of studies, Kamal has found that the vast majority of supplements out there simply don’t work.
- Derek Sivers. I love Derek Sivers. His incredible energy and enthusiasm were absolutely contagious, and have stuck with me since. Derek and I have so much in common, and even share the same favorite fable – and yet, I learned a lot during this episode. The biggest idea I took away from this episode was that just helping people and giving them advice can be a form of public service. I always aspired to dedicate a portion of my time to charity – and Derek helped me realize that I don’t have to volunteer at a soup kitchen to do so. Since then, I’ve done many more Facebook Live broadcasts and invested much more time in responding to people’s email requests, as a form of charitable effort. And Derek’s right – it feels great.
- Daniel T. Willingham. I always love the opportunity to put what I know about learning up against scientific research – and in this episode, I did just that. While it was nice to reconfirm that the research still supports so much of what we teach in our accelerated learning courses, most interesting were the things that I quite honestly didn’t know until speaking with Daniel. After speaking with Daniel, I made numerous improvements to my own courses, including explanations of how to space studying out properly, and how to avoid fooling yourself into thinking you’ve actually learned something.
- Murdoc Khaleghi. In this episode on advanced blood testing, we clarified a lot of things, for example LDL vs. HDL cholesterol, Hemoglobin H1C, Omega 3 vs. Omega 6, and much, much more. But none of that is what stuck with me. Instead, my biggest takeaway was the idea that preventative medicine – i.e. blood testing and proper supplementation – is so much more cost effective than reactive medicine. I also learned that blood testing should be done much more often that most people do it – as much as 4 times per year.
- Dr. Vivienne Ming. In this fascinating episode with a true superwoman, I learned some very interesting takeaways. For example: what factors actually predict success and intelligence? How much is fixed and how much is flexible? And above all, what medical breakthroughs in neuroscience are going to completely change the face of humanity. Ultimately, the lasting impression for me of this episode was Dr. Ming’s insistence that we can drastically alter outcomes – and even intelligence – using technology at every level.
- William Davis, M.D. Obviously, I was not the least bit surprised that grains present a whole slew of health risks. What I did learn, however, was that lipid testing – i.e. getting your cholesterol tested – is one big farce. I also learned about phytates and lectins, and why they present health risks even greater than those of gluten. Ultimately, this episode just further reinforced my belief that the paleo diet is the way to go!
- Chris Bailey (Part 2). I so enjoyed my first episode with Chris that I was very eager to have him back to talk about his much-anticipated book. This episode was incredible – and opened my eyes to a number of new ideas like biological prime-time, restricting your access to technology, and more. This episode changed my daily life in two ways: one, I have meditated with a stopwatch – not a timer – every day since. Two, I have turned off the majority of notifications on my devices, and regularly practice setting boundaries for technology.
- Josh Felber. This episode was the first time I was exposed to the idea of having a performance coach, similar to the way you’d have a football coach. I had two really big takeaways from this episode. First, that checking your phone first thing in the morning is a terrible habit that kills your productivity for the ENTIRE day. Second, that coaching can be tremendously helpful, even if you have your shit together. Since speaking with Josh, I’ve been working with a coach regularly, and the results have been fantastic.
- Jesse Lawler. Jesse is someone who’s opinion I really value when it comes to neurotrophic and brain boosters. Jesse helped firm-up my understanding of which smart drugs do what, and how they differ, which has allowed me to do further research and personal experimentation into the topic.
- Jen Sincero. Jen had so much excitement, enthusiasm, and inspiration to share in this episode. Jen said a couple of things that caused me to make changes in my life and my business. One, I think I definitely am bolder and push through fear more easily. Second, she helped me understand why charging MORE is actually BETTER for my clients and students. Getting over that guilt, and getting rid of the mentality of charging only what I would pay, has been a huge boost for my business – and will continue to be as we increase our prices higher and higher with time.
- Gabriel Wyner. I really loved Gabriel’s book, and went into this episode having read it backwards and forwards. If you’re interested in language learning, I strongly suggest you do the same. Gabriel’s language learning methodology has so thoroughly influenced me, that we’ve discussed creating a course together sometime in the future.
- Tero Isokauppila. This episode with a thirteenth-generation mushroom farmer turned wellness entrepreneur was chock-full of massive takeaways – the big one being that there’s a whole kingdom of foods alongside plants and animals that we ignore. That kingdom is fungi, and as I learned in this episode, there are thousands and thousands of species with tremendous health benefits. Ever since talking to Tero, I’ve taken cordyceps every single day – and I have been enjoying Four Sigmatic’s products quite a bit, as well.
- Daniel Harel. This episode was a bit of fun. Daniel is a mentalist, who can perform seemingly impossible feats simply by paying attention to the most minute of details. Beyond learning how to do a pretty impressive magic trick that literally anyone can do, I also learned a fair bit about psychology, listening, and just how easily we can all be manipulated.
- Timo Ahopelto. In this episode, we talked to one of the advisors to HumanCharger, a company who’s anti-jet-lag device I’ve come to depend on regularly. In the episode, I learned that our brains are actually light-sensitive, and that we can dramatically influence things like depression, energy levels, and circadian rhythm simply by manipulating light exposure.
- Joel Einhorn. In this episode, I got the chance to pick the brain of a friend on a topic of interest… Ayurveda. Not only did I learn a bit more about what exactly Ayurveda is, but I learned how science is today verifying so much of what it has known for millennia. My biggest takeaway was how much it matters how you consume different substances. The example Joel gave was consuming Turmeric with black pepper – which makes it up to 2,000 times more effective. Surely, this is a lesson that can apply to the entire world of diet and supplementation.
- Niurka. In this episode, we talked with someone who worked as one of Tony Robinson’s top trainers for many many years, and I think it immediately showed. The episode reinforced some of my thinking around limiting beliefs, and also caused me to think about what beliefs I was carrying around that are no longer actually true. I recently heard a quote that went as follows: “The most important thing is this: to be willing to let go of everything you are in order to become everything you could be.” I think that this episode really drove that point home.
- Jimmy Moore. Before talking to Jimmy, I had played around with ketosis and low-carb dieting a little bit. With that said, Jimmy gave me a number of takeaways that I refer to regularly to this day. First and foremost was the idea that when you really get into ketosis, you’ll know simply by how incredibly good you feel. He equated it to a drug that nearly everyone would want to take. The second is just how incredibly hard it actually is to get into and stay in ketosis. Since that episode, I’ve been more vigilant about testing myself for ketosis, only to realize that more often than not, my “low carb” diets are not nearly low enough.
- David Allen. David is a treasure trove of productivity thinking, and one of the seminal authors in the field. There were so many things that could be taken away from this episode, but my biggest lesson learned might surprise you. David talked about the importance of having a capture system, and how insignificant the form of that capture system is. As someone who really loves organization and sophisticated systems, I had always emphasized putting things down in the right place – somewhere like Asana or the Reminders app. And as someone who teaches memory techniques, I’d more recently fallen into the habit of simply memorizing tasks or to-do’s. David changed my perspective on this with just one sentence: “Your head is for having ideas, not for holding them.”
- Shawn Stevenson. I really love Shawn Stevenson. Not only is his style and charisma absolutely infectious, but he and I agree on just about everything. Throughout the episode, Shawn reinforced my thinking on so many things, ranging from how sleep is such an important component of healing and health, to his dietary thinking, to his thoughts on exercise and how our environments shape our bodies. I was also so excited to hear about his fastidious learning regimen, and how he has basically used a lot of the techniques I teach in my courses to catapult himself and his career forward using good old fashioned life-long learning. If I were pressed to choose one thing I didn’t know going into this episode, it would be the fact that just a short bout of exercise in the morning – even if it’s not your core workout – is extremely effective at boosting energy and improving sleep quality at night. As Shawn said, “A good night’s sleep starts the moment that you wake up in the morning.”
- Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I’m the first to admit that I have some difficulty with any diet that restricts consumption of animal protein. I suppose I’ve just drunk the Paleo Kool-Aid for far too long. However, what I did find interesting in interviewing an expert from the other side of the table was just how much similarity there was between him and other experts. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that literally every diet and nutrition expert out there agrees on at least a few things, namely that we all need to increase fresh fruits and vegetables and decrease processed artificial foods from our diets. So, ultimately, no matter where you fall on the opinion spectrum, it’s pretty safe to follow at least that piece of advice.
- Dan Holzman. Ok, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical going into this episode. I simply didn’t see how juggling was in any way shape or form “superhuman.” Boy, was I wrong. In under an hour, Dan proved to me why it is, in fact, a powerful skill for rewiring and enlarging your brain, increasing physical dexterity, and actually learning anything faster. Dan shared some of his tips on how to learn physical skills so effectively and quickly, which interestingly lined up with many of my own thoughts on accelerated learning, and ultimately, I think this became one of our better and more informative episodes.
- Trina Felber. In this episode, we talked with an expert on natural skin care and hygiene, to explore my own interest in how modern cosmetic products – unregulated by the FDA – are negatively affecting our health. My big overall takeaway from the episode was really just how easy hygiene was before our diets, environments, and lifestyles changed so much. I came away with an understanding of how important our skin is – even for us guys – as the body’s first and most important defense – and that we need to feed it and care for it the way that we care for the rest of our bodies. Based on Trina’s wisdom, I’ve changed nearly all of the products that I use day-to-day, and continue to look for more natural products to keep in my home.
- Jessica Richman. Truthfully, I went into this episode with a good bit of knowledge and interest around the micro biome – but this episode easily doubled that knowledge. We talked about the vast number of diseases and maladies caused by micro biome imbalances, the proper protocols for nurturing and monitoring your microbiome, and so much more. I came away with an understanding that the micro biome is so, so much more important in our health toolkit than any of us realize, and also that it’s citizen science that is going to help modern scientists make advancements into understanding it.
- Alexander Heyne. In this episode, I got to geek out with another fellow habits enthusiast on what it actually takes to change your habits – and therefore – change yourself fundamentally. Coming from the background of weight loss, Alex had a lot of interesting and powerful insights into how habits work, and even shared some useful tips on how to implement numerous habits at once by changing the narratives we tell ourselves.
- Karan Bajaj. In this episode, I had the opportunity to talk to someone that took a full year off to meditate, travel, and explore his own consciousness. Listening to him tell his story, there were really a few big takeaways. First and foremost, the importance of regularly experiencing discomfort both for mental discipline and also just to remain thankful for the things you have. Karan explained how he had become too soft and comfortable in his day to day life, and that by stripping himself of comforts and living nearly as a beggar in various meditation centers, he was able to get rid of all the mental and emotional clutter and find true clarity. In addition to all of this, he shared some valuable insights into meditation that continue to influence my own practice.
- Mark Channon. I always love the opportunity to connect with other experts in the memory space, both because I always learn something new about my own work, and also, it just reaffirms everything we are doing to show that someone like Mark – a GrandMaster of Memory – is using the same techniques we teach people every single day. One of the most powerful things that I didn’t know going into the episode, though, was just how far and wide mnemonic techniques can be used. Mark told the story of a client he works with who is a swimmer – and how mnemonic techniques helped him improve his performance. I also received some takeaways and ideas for how I can improve my own memory trainings by doing some things that Mark does well, such as encouraging people to test their own knowledge early and often. Mark and I continue to be in touch, and I’m so glad that running this podcast allows me to make friends of folks that would normally be considered competitors.
- Linda Levine. I’ve known Linda since I was about 3 or 4 years old – so you wouldn’t think that there would be much left hidden between us. And yet, this episode uncovered a lot. First, I heard the full story of how her life was transformed in an instant the day she was nearly killed in a stampede. From there, I gained a deeper insight into the incredible positivity that she’s shared with thousands of people, and how she musters up so much energy and love for everyone around her. Like myself, Linda has codified a lot of her beliefs and values into rules that she lives by – rules like giving back, asking questions, being grateful, and not working herself to the bone… and looking at these values and principles, it was so incredible for me to see just what made her the incredible woman that I know and love.
- Joe “Di” Distefano. Jesus. This guy is tough. Throughout the course of the interview, I gained an insight into the mind of someone who helps people torture themselves for a living – through ultra difficult endurance obstacle races. Joe’s views on tenacity were eye opening… for example, one idea that stuck with me was that it may sometimes be OK to train beyond your breaking point, in order to find where the limits are and push the body to improve next time. Joe believes that any time we stop pushing our limits, those limits diminish. Ultimately, I came to realize that Joe, and the people that run his races, simply have more mental tenacity than any of us – but that ultimately, that tenacity can be trained.
- Ron White. Once again, in this episode I had the opportunity to chat with a top-ranking memory champion. As expected, Ron and I agreed on most aspects of mnemonic techniques and training. But perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation was our discussion on long term memory. Often times, people expect that with mnemonic techniques, you can learn something once and never forget it. As Ron and I discussed in the episode, this simply isn’t true – and it was really great to hear from one of the world’s TOP memory experts that in fact, you need to consistently review information that you’re learning if you want to remember it – albeit in a smarter way than your average learner would do. Ron also shared some fascinating tips on training under duress, and like me, he believes that the harder you are on yourself when no one else is watching, the easier life will be on you. What a quote!
- Alli Worthington. In my discussion with Alli, we talked about fear, purpose, and productivity. While Alli had a lot of really awesome and insightful things to say about fear and purpose, what stuck with me most was a message I’ve heard a few times before, about productivity. Alli said that “just like we have to remind ourselves to do things, we have to remind ourselves to stop doing things.” She explained that once she started monitoring what she was actually doing during the day – and cutting the fat – she was able to cut down to a 3-4 hour work day. Pretty cool – and definitely something I’ve since worked towards.
- Wim Hof. Wow. Just Wow. If you were to ask me which of our guests was the most “superhuman” in the classical sense, I wouldn’t hesitate in telling you it was Wim Hof. No other guest has come close to the level of sheer physical superpowers – and then been able to teach so many others. Wim, affectionately known as “The Iceman,” has nearly 30 Guinness World Records, and can survive hot, cold, neurotoxins, and more – simply with a powerful breathing technique. He’s also an incredible superlearner, speaking something like 9 languages! Throughout the episode, he explains exactly how this technique works, and what else it can do for your body, your mind, and your life. My big takeaways were twofold: 1) you can do unbelievably powerful things to your body without any kind of drugs or devices, and 2) to quote Wim, “Nothing is as good as the noble cold,” at least when it comes to health.
- Jeff Sanders. Let me be the first to say that there’s no way I’m waking up at 5AM. With that said, I still found our episode with Jeff Sanders, author of The 5AM Miracle, to be insightful and valuable. As Jeff says, “just simply waking up early doesn’t mean anything by itself,” and in fact, it’s the intentionality behind it that makes it work. Jeff advocates a system where you carefully and deliberately plan your days – on paper – and then execute them. In that, I see a TON of value, and it’s something I really want to focus on doing more in 2017.
- Chris Ashenden. What an incredibly cool guy. The founder of Athletic Greens, Chris and I had a chance to geek out a bit on nutrition and discuss why so many people are lacking the most important nutrients in the human diet. I really enjoyed Chris’ take on nutrition and his no-bs approach – and I definitely learned a lot about nutrition at the cellular level. Above all, though, I found it incredibly fascinating just how he developed so much knowledge – about nutrition, about marketing, about entrepreneurship – and then used the knowledge to propel himself forward in life. Chris spent about 15-20 hours a week reading for 3 years, and, well, the results show. His company today is one of the juggernauts in the industry, and he’s respected by such greats as Tim Ferriss for his incredible health and nutritional wisdom. It just goes to show you what incredible things you can do if you just pick up a book – and then another – and then another.
- Neil Pasricha. I really loved Neil’s energy and enthusiasm, and it shows that he writes about happiness. But beyond just the insights from his book, The Happiness Equation, Neil shared a lot of valuable insights into life and finding your way in this big crazy universe. The one that has most stuck with me is a piece of advice I’ve repeated many many times to friends in transitionary periods in their lives: “the longer you hold your breath underwater, the more interesting a place you come up.” In essence, this means that we shouldn’t rush through transitions in our lives, and if we trust the process and explore deeply and fully, we’ll end up in much more interesting places. I also liked the idea that any money you have left at the end of your life is wasted – either because you didn’t get to enjoy it, or because you wasted time earning it. Pretty neat.
- Colter Merrick. Colter is a friend that I met way back in 2015, and I was so excited to get to share his incredible wisdom and knowledge with the audience. Colter is an expert in all things herbal, and through his company, Elixart, he develops some incredible concoctions. There were too many learning points to mention from this episode – from new roots and plants I’d never heard of to the various ways we can use plant medicines in our lives. My two biggest takeaways are perfectly incapsulated in two quotes from Colter: “There’s so many treasures of nature out there to bring into your life…” so, as he says, “Form your relationship with nature!”
- Rabbi Moshe Miller. In this episode, I definitely stepped a bit outside of my comfort zone and outside of the standard types of topics we cover on the show, to try and get a better understanding of the mystical world of Kabbalah. And let me be completely honest with you: I still don’t fully understand what Kabbalah is. But perhaps the piece that most resonated with me about what Rabbi Miller said was the idea that every single person on this planet is here for a purpose. The most important thing in life, then, is to discover what that purpose is as soon as possible, and to pursue it with everything that you’ve got. This is something that has come up in my life time and time again, and I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.
- Dr. Mark Hyman. It was such an incredible honor to interview someone as respected as Dr. Hyman. And while he said a whole host of really incredible and interesting things that really resonated me, perhaps the biggest and most important thing I learned was that there’s a whole field of medicine outside of the traditional medicine we’re all used to. This field, called “functional medicine,” is aiming to take a more holistic approach to actually helping people be healthy and happy, rather than treating symptoms. It’s something I ultimately think is so incredibly needed in our society, largely because, as Dr. Hyman noted… we are probably the least healthy generation in all of human history. Dr. Hyman’s mission and vision are truly something to be lauded, and I was so inspired by the broach reach he has had and hopes to have with his future work.
- Aubrey De Grey. Right off the bat, I realized that this interview was going to be one of the most interesting and intense I’d ever done. That’s because Aubrey, one of the world’s top authorities on aging, doesn’t view aging and death like you and I. He views them as just another problem – another disease – that medical science can and should cure. And what’s even wilder, is he managed to convince me that there’s logic and ethical reasoning behind curing aging! The episode was incredibly sciencey, and has been an audience favorite ever since.
- Eric the Trainer. With Eric the Trainer, I had the opportunity to interview someone who literally helps celebrities become – or at least look like they’ve become – superhuman. Eric shared the many surprising ways that this is done, and, interestingly enough, the different types of body’s that he can craft. I found it interesting how Eric sees the human body almost as a canvas or medium for modification and expression. Above all, I think what most shocked me was just how quickly he is able to achieve results – often in a matter of weeks – using very unique and very specific training and dietary regimens.
- Dr. Dan Engle. As you probably heard if you listened to the episode, I had an incredible bond with Dr. Dan Engle. Over the last year, I’ve really been fascinated with plant medicines, psychedelics, and other forms of spiritual exploration – and this episode took my knowledge and understanding to the next level. It put a lot of my own experiences into context, warned me against other types of experiences, and I feel, made me better equipped to support other people in my life who are on this same trajectory. The big takeaway? That someone classically trained in psychology, with a medical degree, places so much trust and so much support in psychedelics and their healing power. So much so, that he’s dedicated his career to it – and he’s not the only one. Overall, I strongly feel that plant medicines and pschydelics are going to play a very important role in the mental and spiritual health of future generations, and so, for me, this was an important episode to create for all of you.
- Tiffany Cruikshank. In this episode, I got the chance to clear up some misconceptions and misunderstandings about Yoga. I finally understood why Yoga and meditation are separate, and, why yoga is so important and so cherished by so many people. Put simply: it’s one of the best ways to reconnect to your body… something that I agree many people desperately need. Tiffany also recommended some fascinating books that I’m looking forward to checking out.
- Jayson Gaignard. Jayson’s story is absolutely incredible – and is a testament to the power of relationships. Growing up, I was always told by my father, “what you have in your pocket, anybody can take. What you have in your head, nobody can.” After talking to Jayson, I realized that the same is true of your social network. No matter how dark things got for Jayson, his strong friendships with some of the most influential and inspiring people on the planet proved to be the thing that transformed his life. Incredible, and definitely worth emulating.
- David Heinemeier Hansson. This was another episode where I was simply blown away. David has risen to prominence in so many different fields, from software development, to entrepreneurship, to publishing, and even race car driving… I was incredibly eager to get inside his head and figure out how he does it all. What I loved most of all was the overlap I saw between how he learns, works, and lives and the things I teach in both my learning and productivity courses. Nearly every word out of his mouth was pure gold, incredible and earth-shattering wisdom – and I’m not even exaggerating. If I had to pick one thing that stood out to me as new and valuable, I would have to say it was David’s focus of “developing an eye” for something during the learning process. Getting to the point where he intrinsically understands things without thought – whether it be pinning down something wrong in a line of code or understanding the geometry of a turn on the racetrack. That process, of making something second nature, is something I really want to research more and add to my own courses in the future.
- Derek Rydall. This interview gave me a pretty interesting and new perspective. For as long as I can remember, my approach to self improvement has been to add to myself and my knowledge, to grow, to expand, to acquire, to absorb like a sponge. David, on the other hand, takes the opposite approach. His core message was the idea that you already have everything you need within you – like the acorn contains everything you need to make a massive oak tree. Though I’m not 100% sure I agree with this, I do think it’s an interesting approach and an even more interesting metaphor. Perhaps, like the acorn needs water, carbon dioxide, and sun, we need books, learning, and experience. But perhaps, as Derek suggests of the acorn, we already contain everything that we need to become towering sky-high versions of ourselves.
- Dr. David Orman. In this episode, I wanted to talk to someone with some experience and knowledge about Ch’i, energies, and eastern medicine, in order to contextualize some pretty powerful and mystical experiences I had over the last year. This episode, ultimately, didn’t answer the big questions. But it did give me confidence that indeed, there is something out there, and indeed, my observations and suspicions are pretty spot on. David was able to draw in quantum mechanics to explain concepts like Ch’i and the flow of energies in the body and in the universe – and while I don’t understand all of this any better than anyone else alive today, I do feel much more at peace knowing that it’s out there and that it’s a big question mark… for now.
- Craig Ballantyne. I really enjoyed my episode with Craig Ballantyne, and he’s someone that I admire a great deal for the incredible businesses that he has built. My biggest takeaway from this episode was the idea that there are 5 distinguishable elements behind any successful personal transformation. A lot of times, we think about one specific cause or catalyst – for example, someone quitting smoking when their child is born, or starting to meditate after having a heart attack, but Craig helped me realize that in nearly every case, there are a total of 5 elements. Those 5 elements are: Proper planning and preparation, social support, professional accountability, meaningful incentives, and finally, a deadline. Going forward, I plan to be much more conscientious about making sure that I have all 5 of those things in place before attempting any kind of personal transformation on my own.
- Alex Charfen. This episode was one of our best received – with dozens of you guys writing to me and expressing how transformational it had been for you. Heck, one of you guys even quit your job after listening to it! So, in that, I realized that I shouldn’t shy away from hosting entrepreneurship and business guests on the show. But beyond that, it reinforced something that I’ve been feeling and shifting towards for the last 2 years… the idea that radical honesty is, contrary to what many believe, the best way to really succeed in your personal or professional life. Alex’s entire, incredibly successful career, was made possible by the fact that he was the only person in the room willing to call it like it is, and have the hard conversations, even when everyone else was lying or telling half truths to save face. I, too, have come to learn that even the whitest and most well-intentioned of lies is a setback in my life, though it often feels like it would be easier or more productive to lie. Hearing Alex’s story reinforced a core value that I’ve been increasingly proud of: be completely honest, to everyone, all the time.
- Why Learning is the Only Skill That Matters. This episode was an opportunity to open up with you guys and tell my story in a way that I have never told it before. It also was a look into why learning matters to me so much, and why I believe that learning is the true key to literally ANYTHING you want in your life. I was worried that you guys wouldn’t like this episode, since it was shorter and was just me talking. Instead, I received a whole host of messages asking me to do more episodes featuring my own thoughts and ideas. Well, I hear you guys, and I plan to do many more such episodes going forward.
- Chris Kresser. Poor Chris had such an unfair task thrust upon him in this episode. He had to bring something new and exciting to the show, even after we have interviewed so many of the top brass from the Paleo movement. Fortunately, he was up to the challenge. Chris’ major message was that the paleo diet can not only keep you healthy, but in fact, can reverse a whole host of nasty diseases that otherwise require serious medical intervention. As one of the top clinicians in the community, he also opened my eyes to a more flexible and pragmatic approach to paleo that I think could perhaps welcome many more people into the fold. All in all, this episode even further reinforced my already very strong belief in the paleo diet, by teaching me that it can and should be adapted for everyone – especially those suffering from disease.
- Steven Fowkes. This episode was a fun opportunity to chat with a fellow biohacker and cognitive science enthusiast. While the episode was mostly about Alzheimer’s prevention and cognitive enhancement, my biggest takeaway was this: I’ve been waking up with the wrong color light every morning. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with more red-rich colors, and so far, the results are promising.
- Ryan Munsey. I really loved chatting with Ryan, and I love the passion and intention that goes into the products his company makes. We talked about a vast number of topics, but two of them really stuck with me. First, I learned that there’s actually a test to determine which chemical is more dominant in your neurochemistry. Second, I learned that there are actually 6 axes of abdominal movement, and that if you want to have a strong, ripped core, you need to train them all – not the 1 axis that most people usually train. I also learned that there’s a lesser-known form of magnesium that improves cognitive performance in a way that others don’t.
- Olly Richards6. Olly Richards is a close friend of Anthony Metivier’s, and someone that I’ve been hoping to get to know for a long time. Olly’s approach to hacking languages surprised me most in the areas that he doesn’t hack them. Whereas so many experts – myself included – bash language learning textbooks as archaic and old school, in fact, Olly bases his entire method on finding a high quality book – and then hacking the way you use and apply it. This caused me to realize that in my own study of Russian, I completely neglected to use a high quality textbook… which was probably a mistake.
- Luke Tyburski. In this episode, I wanted to learn about the type of mental tenacity that it takes to do something like a 2,000 kilometer triathlon. And while I may never understand how Luke actually does it, what I did learn is this: It’s fully possible to train your mind to become much, much stronger than your body. At that point, only physical limitations can stop you. Absolutely incredible.
- Jaakko Halmetoja. I really like Jaakko. His enthusiastic and geeky energy around biohacking matches my own, and he just has so much wisdom to share around non-traditional superfoods that I can’t wait to pick his brain again – and read his upcoming book. Though Jaakko and I went in depth on a lot of different foods and practices for hacking the body, my big takeaway from this episode was that it’s more about the big picture – the overall lifestyle and mosaic of what you eat and how you live, than it is about adding one specific compound, nutrient, or behavior into your regimen.
- Justin Stenstrom. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life thinking about confidence and self esteem vs. egoism and arrogance, and trying to find that perfect balance. Probably my biggest takeaway from Justin’s interview was this idea that everyone has confidence within them on some area or facet of their lives -and that it’s just a matter of learning to bring that out in an authentic way in more and more areas of our lives. Personally, it’s been my experience that confidence and self esteem are learning challenges just like everything else in life, and so I really liked this approach.
- Drew Canole. Wow. Drew Canole. Well, I have to say that my first lesson in this episode was really more about podcasting than anything else. I learned not to put guests in a box or try and channel them into talking about the one subject they’re most known for! Drew and I were scheduled to talk green juice and nutrition, and if it weren’t for one of his colleagues Shanna pushing me to dig deeper into his life and his story, it probably would have remained there. Instead, what I got was an incredible deep and rewarding episode that covered all kinds of subjects, from leadership, to personal transformation, to business, and of course, nutrition. Probably my biggest and most comforting takeaway from the episode had to do with something I’ve been struggling with recently around dream-like states and confusing your dreams with reality. I found it so comforting to hear Drew state that for him, there’s no difference – and that he manages to live as happy and as successful a life as he does even with that incredible blurry line.
So, there you go. A summary of the biggest and most important things I’ve learned throughout the 99 episodes leading up to this one. You might be wondering – which ones stood out? Well, here are…
My Top 10 Episodes (In No Specific Order):
- Gretchen Rubin
- Chris Bailey
- Robb Wolf
- Nick Littlehales
- Tero Isokauppila
- David Heinemeier Hansson
- Drew Canole
- Wim Hof
- Derek Sivers
- Dan Engle
You might also be wondering about all the books mentioned in all of the episodes. Which ones have I read? Which ones do I recommend? Well.. Here are
My Top 10 Books Discussed on the Show:
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The E-Myth Revisited
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
- Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
- The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
So, how would I sum it all up?
How would I crystallize all of the incredible wisdom of nearly 100 of the world’s most impressive humans into some actionable and practical advice that you can act on today.
Well, here are some themes that jump out.
The World’s Healthiest, Happiest, and Successful Humans…
Read books. A lot of books.
Nearly all of our guests have had a reading habit. Even the elite athletes. In fact, many of them admitted to reading more than 1 book a week, or spending intensive periods of their lives reading dozens of books on rapid fire.
Meditate. One way or another.
The vast majority of our guests had some form of meditation or mindfulness practice. Some did it for spiritual reasons. Some did it for productivity. But nearly all of them took time most days to pause and focus on the present moment.
Eat real food. And avoid garbage.
So many of our guests have agreed with the same dietary advice, you probably don’t even need me to repeat it. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Avoid processed crap. In summary: pay attention to what goes in your mouth, and you’ll be pleased with what comes out of your mind.
Think deliberately about their actions. And their goals.
Most of our guests talked about having plans, goals, and structure around their activities. Very few of them ended up where they were by accident. This goes to show that the most successful people take time to visualize how they’re going to get where they want to go.
Pay close attention to their words – especially those spoken to themselves.
Have you ever noticed that there is almost no negativity on the show? Very, very few of the guests have ever had negative comments to say about others or themselves. This goes to show that the most successful people understand the power of words and the power of positive thinking. In fact, a lot of guests pointed out the importance of having healthy and positive conversations with yourself, and even more of them pointed to gratitude exercises or journaling as an invaluable tool.
So, that’s all for now. I can’t say it was easy. I can’t say I always enjoyed every second of work to get up to this point. But I can say it’s been a heck of a lot of fun.
I want to thank all of our guests thus far for sharing their time and their wisdom, and of course, to thank all of you for tuning in every week.
If you could, please take a moment to share with us your absolute favorite moment, takeaway, or episode either on Twitter or on Facebook. While you’re at it, let us know what you’d like to see for the next hundred episodes, and just maybe, we’ll make it happen!
This is Jonathan Levi… signing off!