Wabi Sabi: The Beauty of a Simple Life with Beth Kempton

Beth Kempton is the author of four books, including Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, an international bestseller that has been recommended by TIME Magazine and translated into 24 languages. A dedicated student of Japanese culture, language, and life, Beth earned an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Japanese studies and has extensively traveled and lived in the country. In addition to her writing, Beth is the founder of Do What You Love, through which she inspires people to live well and do what they love.

Beth joins me today to share perspectives and ideas from Japan. She describes wabi-sabi as a mode of how we experience beauty in the world and how shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, can deliver the healing potential of nature. She highlights strategies to become a more mindful gift-giver and how to get through the holiday season to have a fantastic new year. She also shares her insights on writing and illustrates the writer’s role as a conduit for manifesting ideas into a book.

“Wabi-sabi is an intuitive response to a particular kind of beauty that reminds us of the impermanence of everything.” – Beth Kempton

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Experiencing the dance of nature as active, conscious creators and passive witnesses
  • Beth’s background in Japanology and experience with shinrin-yoku
  • Forest bathing as a meditative practice and its potential to heal
  • Japanese aesthetics and how it has been impacted by industrialization
  • What wabi-sabi means, how it’s been misused in the West, and why Beth wrote a book on the subject
  • The dangers of social media’s conversation on image, achievement, and perfection
  • Why wabi-sabi is less about what we see and more about how we see
  • The collective yearning for beauty and a simple life
  • The heart-mind and how different decisions are made in different parts of the body
  • The tendency of writers to only write about a single topic forever and the underlying theme in Beth’s books
  • Helping people explore the values of stillness through her book, We Are In This Together
  • The relationship between mental health and the holiday season
  • The Five Stories of Christmas and how finding your Christmas Constellation can change your experience of the holiday season
  • The historical roots of holiday traditions
  • Writing what you want to know and letting your books become your mentors
  • Being unsure of whether the world needs your book and how writing a book is about clarity and confidence
  • How writing a book proposal can help you push past the inner critic
  • Podcasting as an effective platform to build authority
  • Why writers need to think of marketing their books as a service to their prospective readers

Related Content:

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Beth Kempton:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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 Middlescence Manifesto: Rethinking Middle Age with Barbara Waxman

Barbara Waxman is a Life Stage Expert, coach, and author of The Middlescence Manifesto: Igniting the Passion of Midlife. As a Gerontologist-coach, Barbara founded the Odyssey Group Coaching, where she offers her unique coaching model, Entrepreneurship Turned Inward, to help people in their midlife develop professionally and personally. Barbara is a next-level thinker on a mission to advocate for a thriving midlife and to shift cultural norms around aging.

Barbara joins me today to share her ideas about “middlescence” and shares powerful tools we can utilize to age well. She discusses finding your life purpose, differentiates between the little ‘p’ purpose from big ‘P’ Purpose, and illustrates how the former can lead to the latter. She shares her “Five to Thrive” quiz and enumerates the five essential elements everybody needs to live an exuberant and vibrant life. She also rethinks the narrative that midlife is a crisis and emphasizes how we all can find happiness and fulfillment throughout the years until the end of our life.

“Middlescent people have the energy and wisdom from lived experiences to become great leaders. Our world needs us now more than ever.” – Barbara Waxman

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • The power of language and semantics
  • Stanley Hall, the creation of adolescence, and how our ideas about the different stages of life evolved through time
  • What ‘middlescence’is and its similarities and differences with adolescence
  • The identity shifts involved in both adolescence and middlescence
  • David Brooks’ “Resume” and “Eulogy” virtues
  • Writing a letter from your hundred-year-old self and why Barbara enjoys reading obituaries
  • Barbara’s thoughts on the prevalence of mental health issues in the country
  • Contemplating on joy and passion and the difference between the “big P” and “little p” purpose
  • Preparing for the One Great Act and why people seem depleted when they’re looking for their life’s purpose
  • Self-care as a revolutionary act and how it becomes even more important as we age
  • Barbara’s “Five to Thrive” quiz and the five essential elements and practical tools in living and aging well
  • The myth of the midlife crisis
  • The U-curve of happiness and how happiness dips and comes back
  • Why Barbara wrote the Middlescence Manifesto
  • Why the world needs people in their middlescence now more than ever
  • Barbara’s pre-COVID leadership work in India
  • Why Barbara doesn’t consider herself as a writer
  • My love-hate relationship with writing and how Barbara got the Middlescence Manifesto completed
  • The writers’ challenge of cultivating a social media following
  • The power of celebrating your life’s greatest failures

Related Content:

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Barbara Waxman:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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.

When Death Becomes Life: Lessons from a Transplant Surgeon with Dr. Joshua Mezrich

Dr. Joshua Mezrich is the author of When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon, a book where he shares insights that he derived from his life as a surgeon. Joshua is a graduate of Princeton University and completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at Cornell University.  In addition to his profession as a transplant surgeon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Joshua is the co-founder and inventor of MezLight, the sterile surgical headlamp that he conceptualized in his quest to find alternatives to wearing a headlight during surgical procedures.

Joshua joins me today to discuss the act of organ donation as a gift of life that can help families cope with death. He illustrates his beginnings as a doctor, from the first patient who died on his watch to meeting the family of an organ donor for the first time. He shares a brief history of surgery and transplanting and imparts his love of reading literature. He also underscores the value of empathy and humility not only in the medical field but also in life and the power of choosing to be kind.

“The ability to donate organs is a beautiful thing. It is a gift and legacy; a reminder of how you can help people, even in your final hours.” – Joshua Mezrich

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • A patient who died in Joshua’s care and how his values changed throughout his career
  • How stress can make it difficult to keep your humanity and sense of purpose
  • Missing a critical phone call and the importance of humility
  • A brief history of organ transplants
  • Why a pharmaceutical company wanted its executives to collect soil samples whenever they traveled
  • Why Joshua wrote When Death Becomes Life and how writing the book changed his life
  • The “driven beasts” and the incredible weight on the shoulders of pioneering surgeons
  • Why the way we think of death as a society matters
  • Forming the concept of brain death
  • Challenging the definition of brain death and the case of Jahi McMath
  • How organ donation has helped families cope with death and the first time Joshua met a donor family
  • The power of emotional awareness and mastery
  • What compelled Joshua to become a surgeon after majoring in Russian Language & Literature
  • How his practice as a surgeon transformed his awareness and appreciation of the spiritual
  • The first time Joshua performed a transplant and why surgeons need to be humble
  • Living donations, pair exchanges, and other innovations in organ transplantation
  • Choosing to be kind in a challenging world
  • What was it like to draft a manuscript worth 300,000 words
  • Why writers shouldn’t stop their writing session at the end of a chapter and other advice on writing a book

Related Content:

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Joshua Mezrich:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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.

Tiny Habits: Small Changes Change Everything with BJ Fogg

BJ Fogg is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. BJ is the Founder & Director of the Stanford University Behavior Design Lab and has dedicated his life to teaching and sharing his insights about behavior change. Using his Fogg Behavior Model and methods in behavior design, BJ trains Fortune 500 companies and guides industry innovators in creating products that help people become healthier and happier.

BJ joins me today to share his insights on behavior design and habit formation. He emphasizes the role of emotions in creating habits and explains the power of simplicity in cultivating behaviors. He reveals some of the biggest myths about habit formation and describes some factors that make it difficult for people to change their behavior. He also shares the Fogg Behavioral Model and discusses how self-confidence can help individuals form new habits.

” Emotions create habits, not repetition. Design for positive emotions: you change best when you’re feeling good.” – BJ Fogg

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • A life of helping and serving other people
  • Designing habits through positive emotions
  • Leveraging operant conditioning to change behavior
  • The power of taking small steps in habit formation
  • Teaching the Tiny Habits method and how a dream compelled BJ to write his book
  • BJ’s tips and hacks on writing a book
  • What is a habit and how it differs from ‘general guidelines’
  • Faulty ways to change and why it’s so difficult to change behavior
  • The biggest myths about habit creation
  • How culture and environment influence the creation of habits
  • What ‘golden behaviors’ are and the importance of picking a habit that you want instead of habits that you should have
  • Distinguishing ‘outcomes’ from ‘aspirations’ and why you need to focus on specific, concrete behaviors
  • The Fogg Behavior Model and the impact of teaching it to others
  • Designing effective prompts in the creation of habits
  • How belief and self-confidence can help you change your behaviors easier
  • Using the Fogg Behavioral Model in leadership and management

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with BJ Fogg:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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.

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

Related Content:

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Martha Alderson:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Annie Duke:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Tyson Yunkaporta:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Houston Kraft:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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

Related Content:

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Mark Gober:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Morgan Housel:

Subscribe, Rate & Share!

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.