Boundless Creativity: Unveiling the Universal Story with Martha Alderson

Martha Alderson is the best-selling author of Boundless Creativity: A Spiritual Workbook for Overcoming Self-Doubt, Emotional Traps, and Other Creative Blocks and Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene. She is a plot and transformational consultant whose clients include best-selling authors, editors, and Hollywood movie directors. Martha, widely known as the “Plot Whisperer,” has written several books, led workshops, and created an award-winning blog to help creatives express themselves and tell their stories.

Martha joins me today to explore the creative process and define what the universal story is. She discusses the ubiquity of opposition in all artistic pursuits and outlines how creatives can overcome them. She reveals the three major emotions with which all creatives face and explains how we are all in the world to heal. She also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness, its relationship with creative endeavor, and how we can give it to ourselves and extend it to others.

” Creativity is fraught with obstacles – that’s what the universal story is all about. Writing a story will change you.” – Martha Alderson

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • How taking risks helps you stretch, grow, and expand who you are
  • Why Martha wrote Boundless Creativity and how brilliant writers get tangled in fear and insecurity
  • The reason Martha dedicated her life to helping others express themselves
  • Our tendencies to re-traumatize ourselves
  • The universal story and its similarities and differences with the Hero’s Journey
  • The elements that create a compelling narrative
  • The stages of the universal story and how to travel it well
  • Unveiling the universal stories in our lives
  • Strategies in overcoming the Dark Night of the Soul
  • The three major emotions that stop creatives from moving forward
  • The importance of meaning and purpose in life and how we can find it
  • The Wounded Healer archetype and why forgiveness is key to the creative process
  • Why writers should start with the end of their stories
  • The power of plot and structure in developing a story

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

How to Decide: Better Choices, Better Life with Annie Duke

Annie Duke is the author of How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices and Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts. As a decision strategist and consultant, Annie coaches on the behavior of decision making, decision fitness, and emotional control. She is also Co-Founder and Board Member of the Alliance for Decision Education, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering students with essential decision-making skills. Before her work as an author and consultant, Annie was a professional poker player who won more than $4 million in tournament poker before retiring in 2012.

Annie joins me today to explain why making a pros and cons list is an ineffective method to make decisions and outlines her six-step process for powerful decision-making. She discusses why people get stuck in analysis paralysis, describes how we can move past it, and defines the “resulting phenomenon.” She also emphasizes using happiness as a tool to measure the value of the choices we’re weighing and illustrates how the quality of our decisions impact the quality of our lives.

“There are two things that determine the quality of life: luck and decisions. Focus on the quality of your decisions; they’re the only ones you have control over.” – Annie Duke

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • How setting and following finite goals lead to existential disappointment
  • Why most people are bad at making decisions
  • How biases play into the decision-making process
  • The reason social media is a fertile breeding ground for misinformation and fake news
  • How long the average person decides what to eat, watch, and wear
  • The relationship between our quality of life and the decisions we make
  • Increasing the frequency of luck through decision-making
  • The resulting phenomenon and the importance of being aware of it
  • What the “resulting phenomenon” means
  • Annie’s six-step process for making better decisions
  • The two dimensions a pros and cons list lack that make it an ineffective decision-making tool
  • What motivated reasoning is and its relationship with assessing a decision
  • Using the happiness test to weigh decisions
  • The importance of teaching decision skills in schools
  • Annie’s weakness as a writer, how she overcomes them, and her writing process
  • Her advice for people who want to write

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Sand Talk: Changing the World Through Indigenous Knowledge with Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson Yunkaporta is the author of Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. He is an academic, art critic, poet, and researcher who belongs to the Apalech clan in Queensland, Australia. A senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University, Tyson looks at global systems through an Indigenous lens. Much of society’s problems stem from our worldview, from how we think and relate to how we behave. Through Sand Talk, Tyson offers a template for living and perspectives on how we can make better sense of the world.

Tyson joins me today to discuss how Indigenous knowledge and ideas can help change the world for the better and describes what makes a person or knowledge Indigenous. He explains why we need to have an agency in violence and describes how western civilization has subjugated women and femininity. He also highlights the importance of cultivating a connection with the land, defines Indigenous concepts – such as the Dreaming, totemic relationships, and songlines – and discusses how books should increase what can be known.

“Receive those signals from the land and let them shape you. Let them move you forward. When you accept those messages, they start to change you.” – Tyson Yunkaporta

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The network of reality
  • Forming a group mind and what it means to yarn
  • Tyson’s definition of an Indigenous person and Indigenous knowledge
  • Why books should increase what can be known
  • How the language of separation informs our worldview
  • The role of the land in spiritual seeking
  • Receiving signals and messages from the land around us
  • The defining feature of a civilization and how western culture has subjugated femininity
  • What it means to distribute violence throughout the society
  • Intergenerational equity and reidentification within four generations
  • What the Dreaming and songline mean
  • The importance of acknowledging the First Peoples of the land
  • Why we’re all from a common origin and ancestry
  • How creativity is part of being human

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Deep Kindness: Practices for a Compassionate World with Houston Kraft

Houston Kraft is the author of Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness. He has spent the last decade visiting more than 600 schools and events worldwide to speak about empathy, compassion, and kindness. Houston is the Founder of CharacterStrong, an organization that teaches leadership through the lens of compassion. Together with his team at CharacterStrong, Houston has created curriculums and training that serve more than 2,500 schools across 50 states, nine countries, and over a million students.

Houston joins me today to explore the skills we need to develop to create a more compassionate world. He discusses the factors that hinder us from being kind and how we can overcome them. He highlights the importance of bringing empathy into acts of kindness and shares his “To Be List.” He also defines what deep kindness is, differentiates it from what he calls “confetti kindness,” explains why the distinction matters, and discusses how we can develop deep kindness for others and ourselves.

” The practice of deep kindness is a disciplined pursuit. It must become part of our rituals, routines, and habits.” – Houston Kraft

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Building human connection through physical touch
  • Why deep kindness is an urgent priority in the world
  • Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project and what the rhetoric-reality gap is
  • Weakness of the will and its relationship with our lack of kindness in the world
  • The difference between “confetti kindness” and “deep kindness”
  • The challenges of deep kindness and how we can cultivate it more
  • The pitfalls of doing acts of kindness without empathy
  • The three major things that prevent us from being kind
  • The power of emotional regulation and transforming anger
  • How emotional intelligence and skills shape human behavior
  • Houston’s “To Be” List and the qualities that make deep kindness unconditional
  • How shame and fear of embarrassment prevent us from connection and kindness
  • How we can be more kind to ourselves
  • How Houston conceptualized Deep Kindness and the approach he took to complete it

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

An End to Upside Down Living: Living Life in Elevated Consciousness with Mark Gober

Mark Gober is an international speaker and author of An End to Upside Down Living: Reorienting Our Consciousness to Live Better and Save the Human Species. Mark is the host of the Where is My Mind?Podcast, where he interviews leading researchers on consciousness, such as the physicist and Nobel laureate Brian Josephson. Through his work, Mark explores areas that are not currently accepted by the scientific community, including psychic phenomena, near-death experiences, and, ultimately, elevating humanity’s consciousness.

Mark joins me today to share the concept of how matter and the biology of the universe arises from consciousness and explain why understanding this idea matters. He defines what the materialism or physicalism philosophy is and its implications on how we live our lives. He differentiates non-attachment from detachment and discusses how we can be more aligned with the stream of consciousness. He also explains how leaders, educators, and mentors can help elevate the world’s consciousness and why it’s essential to bring authenticity to our creative endeavors.

“By elevating ourselves as individuals and cleaning our impurities we begin to radiate a positivity that has an impact on others just by being.” – Mark Gober

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The need to reframe reality and to live a life in service
  • Why consciousness is fundamental to our everyday experiences
  • What materialism and physicalism mean and their implications on how we live life
  • Why people think consciousness comes from the brain
  • Transforming our worldview from materialism to interconnectivity
  • How leaders can help elevate humanity’s consciousness
  • What synchronicity is and what we can do to experience it more in our lives
  • Living a self-determined life and Einstein’s question on free will
  • The notion of intellectual and radical humility and why we need to practice it
  • Non-attachment versus detachment and why the distinction matters
  • Different approaches to the “right-side-up living”
  • Surrendering and being a vessel for the broader Stream of Consciousness
  • Bringing compassion and discernment into our relationships
  • What stewardship means and how we can think of money in a metaphysical sense
  • The impact of authenticity on the creative process

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review. Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

The Psychology of Money: Building Wealth by Minding the Ego with Morgan Housel

Morgan Housel is a Partner at the Collaborative Fund and author of The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness. He is a former columnist for The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal and has received several accolades, including the New York Times Sidney Award. In addition to his authorship, Morgan has presented at over 100 conferences in different countries, using storytelling to explore behavioral finance and history, how investors deal with risk, and how we can think about risk in a more productive way.

Morgan joins me today to explore the highest form of wealth and the psychology that drives how we spend our money. He defines what a savings rate means and explains how one can build wealth without having a high income. He differentiates making reasonable financial decisions from making rational ones and describes our emotional relationship with money. He also illustrates the economic and social dynamics that occur underneath challenging events in the United States and reveals some surprising facts about money and financial trends in the country.

“Your savings rate is the gap between your income and your ego: how much you’re making and how much you’re able to suppress your desire to impress other people.” – Morgan Housel

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The “end of history” illusion and how the things we consider as meaningful change over time
  • The definition of savings rate and creating wealth by being mindful of the ego
  • The highest form of wealth and what the FIRE movement misses
  • How independence and freedom exist on a spectrum
  • The power of writing for yourself instead of writing for an audience
  • Underestimating the role of luck in life and the importance of introspecting about greed
  • How our economic and social standing in life affects our notions of money and spending habits
  • The psychology behind Americans’ massive spending on lottery tickets
  • Why people can’t be totally rational with their money and what it means to be reasonable with our finances
  • The secrets of Warren Buffet and the impact of time on investments and building wealth
  • How 2020 exacerbated the widening income inequality in the United States
  • The worst and best money decision Morgan and his wife ever made

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: A Dynamic Partnership with an Assistant with Jan Jones

Jan Jones is the author of The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness, a book regarded as ‘the Bible’ for executives and assistants worldwide. Over her 20 years of experience working as an executive assistant, Jan has represented high-level leaders and executives such as Tony Robbins and Michael Gerber. In addition to championing the high-performing executive assistant – a role for which she advocates through her writing – Jan is also a consultant and Founder & President of Jan Jones Worldwide Speakers Bureau, an international speakers bureau that connects inspirational speakers to their worldwide audience.

Jan joins me today to discuss what it takes to be an extraordinary executive assistant. She shares ideas she learned from renowned leaders such as Elon Musk on finding, interviewing, and hiring the right executive assistant. She underscores the monumental role executive assistants play in supporting executives, leaders, and businesses and explains why the job is widely misunderstood. She also illustrates what it’s like to work for author and coach Tony Robbins and explains why she believes everyone should write a book.

“There has to be constant communication between the executive and the assistant. If you don’t trust them, an executive assistant won’t be able to do their job.” – Jan Jones

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Enjoying the gift of life despite its challenges
  • Why Jan still identifies as an executive assistant and how her experience in the role guides her life and business
  • How to determine if it’s time to hire an executive assistant
  • Why Jan doesn’t recommend using virtual assistants as a long-term solution to businesses
  • The time and effort required in finding the right executive assistant
  • The relationship between a high degree of self-awareness and hiring the perfect executive assistant
  • A lesson from Elon Musk on interviewing and assessing a candidate for an executive assistant role
  • The core competencies and characteristics of an exceptional executive assistant
  • How an executive assistant made a difference in the discovery of Elvis Presley
  • Figuring out the right compensation for executive assistants
  • Jan’s experience working as an executive assistant for Tony Robbins
  • An executive assistant’s fight for recognition and why the role is maligned today
  • The impetus behind Jan’s book, The CEO’s Secret Weapon and the challenges she faced in writing it
  • The labor that comes in organizing a book’s ideas, the importance of choosing a great editor, and why everyone should write a book

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Developing Wisdom and Compassion with Philip Goldberg

Philip Goldberg is a public speaker, spiritual counselor, and the author of Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Powerful Tools to Cultivate Clarity, Calm, and Courage and The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru, among numerous others. Philip is a meditation teacher and ordained interfaith minister who has spent over 50 years studying Transcendental Meditation. In addition to his books, Philip also regularly contributes writing to the Elephant Journal and Spirituality & Health and co-hosts the Spirits Matters Podcast.

Philip joins me in this episode to share his spiritual journey. He illustrates the turning point in life that set him off in his spiritual path to find truth and wisdom. He imparts some of the lessons he learned from practicing Eastern spiritual traditions and explains what turiya, or the Fourth Mode of Consciousness, means. He also shares the practical benefits of spiritual practice and highlights the relevance of cultivating spirituality in today’s world of uncertainty.

“Spiritual practice creates a good foundation for more effective action in the world and equips you to act in a wise, creative, and compassionate way.” – Philip Goldberg

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Spirituality as the foundation of living a meaningful and powerful life
  • The illusion of separation and what life is about for Philip
  • The relevance of bringing spiritual practices to everyday life
  • The meaning of sadhana in Hindu traditions and the importance of regular practice
  • The practical benefits of a spiritual practice and how people think of spirituality as a luxury
  • The impetus behind Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times and for whom he wrote it
  • Searching for truth and wisdom and the experience that launched Philip on his spiritual path
  • Developing equanimity and why we shouldn’t deny our humanity
  • The meaning of turiya in Hinduism and the three aspects of consciousness
  • Why you can’t force meditative states into happening
  • Being deep in spirituality while engaged in the affairs of the world
  • What Philip learned from writing The Life of Yogananda
  • How Philip realized he’s a writer and the challenges he faced as an independent writer
  • Philip’s writing process for creating a book, from concept to completion
  • Mindsets and characteristics that will help you succeed in writing
  • Getting unstuck in the creative process and the writer’s block
  • Philip’s advice and encouragement for writers

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Why Bother?: Remaining Open to Life’s Possibilities with Jennifer Louden

Jennifer Louden is a coach, speaker, and best-selling author of Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next. Jennifer is a pioneer in personal growth and development who helped launch the concept of self-care with her first bestseller, The Woman’s Comfort Book: A Self-Nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life. For over 26 years, Jennifer has helped millions of creative women create extraordinary lives through her books, communities, and writing retreats. She has appeared on several television, radio, and podcast shows, and has been cited in Brene Brown’s books, Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead.

Jennifer joins me today to explore our fear of being undefended and explain what an emotional immune system is. She shares her experience with depression and loss and the lessons she learned from them. She explains what “why bothers” are, how they work, how we can use them, and the role that desire plays in it. She defines the difference between signature themes and life purpose and explains how the latter can harm us. She also shares her ideas and processes on writing and explores how a teacher’s highest calling is to live her lessons.

“Life wants to carry you down the river with no forcing or holding back. You need to open yourself up to it.” – Jennifer Louden

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The experience of being alive and what is life about for Jennifer
  • Why it took 12 years to write Why Bother and for whom Jennifer wrote it
  • What our emotional immune system is and how we can expand it
  • How we impart meanings to our circumstances and our “why bother” periods
  • Desire as the flow of life and how it plays into our “why bothers”
  • What a signature theme is and how it’s different from a life purpose
  • How the idea of a life purpose can stop and hurt people
  • Shadow comforts, time monsters, and how we close off ourselves to the feeling of aliveness
  • Jennifer’s definition of self-improvement and how they may not help us find what we want most out of life
  • The Four Conditions of Enoughness and learning to stop in the gaps of life
  • Why Jennifer chose to work with the publisher, Page Two
  • The most significant influences on Jennifer’s writing
  • Writing in the morning with a latte in hand and other writing routines
  • How to avoid procrastinating as a writer
  • The importance of planning a writing project and how Jennifer organizes ideas for her books
  • How Jennifer deals with self-doubt when writing
  • Why we’re all great writers and how we can develop great sentences

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

Kindness and Wonder: The Fred Rogers Philosophy with Gavin Edwards

Gavin Edwards is a journalist, nonfiction writer, and New York Times best-selling author of 12 books, including Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever and The World According to Tom Hanks. Gavin is a veteran writer who has penned magazine cover stories on celebrities such as Jared Leto and Travis Barker and has written for several publications, including The New York Times, Wired, and Rolling Stone. In addition to his work as a writer, Gavin is also a public speaker who has appeared on NBC’s Today, NPR’s All Things Considered, and VH1’s Behind the Music.

Gavin joins me today to discuss the life and philosophy of Fred Rogers. He explains what led him to write about Mr. Rogers and shares some of his favorite stories about him. He describes his process of selecting personalities, icons, and topics and how he approaches the people he writes about. He also underscores the power of research in making interviews engaging and explains why the act of writing is valuable unto itself.

“If people spent their days being 3% more like Fred Rogers, we’d all be in a much better place.” – Gavin Edwards

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Writing an oral history of Bill Murray and how Gavin approaches an icon he wants to write about
  • Writing about people who have a philosophy of life and how they’re manifesting it in the world
  • What led Gavin to write about Mr. Rogers and how he wanted his book to impact readers
  • Asking a child for a prayer and Gavin’s favorite stories about Fred Rogers
  • How Mr. Rogers lived a life of congruence and direction
  • How Gavin’s life was touched by delving into Mr. Roger’s life
  • The willingness to look at the world through another person’s eyes
  • How spirituality informed Mr. Roger’s work and his connection with other people
  • The fundamental lesson from Mr. Roger and what he thought about death and dying
  • The power of presence and attentiveness in giving interviews
  • Asking the right questions to bring an interviewee away from a routine response
  • A writing lesson that has served Gavin well and why he writes in long-hand
  • The impact of anecdotes and using writing tools to bring life to a story

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Brilliant Miller. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe and leave us a rating and review.

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And be sure to share your favorite episodes with your friends and colleagues on social media to inspire others to improve their lives and reach their full potential.