24. Kenji Williams: Bella Gaia And Beyond

Today, my guest is Kenji Williams, a composer and director for multimedia live theater, mixed reality, and interactive data visualization. What does that mean? Well, I met Kenji at an event in San Francisco where he showed me through VR a view of the planet earth that just blew my mind. It helped me to experience not only the beauty but the interconnectivity, the fragility of planet earth, and I was absolutely blown away. Since that time I have learned more from Kenji and this conversation was awesome. He talks about his journey as a multidisciplinary artist beginning at age six as a classically trained violinist, the son of a Buddhist and a Quaker. As he was raised, he pursued film. He also became a DJ, was in the rave culture, made a documentary about indigenous rituals, lived for a while in the psychedelic culture, did an artistic production with artist Alex Gray. You will find this conversation useful, interesting, inspiring. So with that, please enjoy this conversation with Kenji Williams.

00:02:16 – The San Francisco Forbes Magazine event.
00:04:59 – How does Kenji explain who he is?
00:13:44 – Film school and beyond.
00:21:12 – Moment Utopia
00:30:35 – Why is this your life’s work?
00:38:31 – Connecting with NASA.
00:48:51 – Lightening round.
00:55:53 – Next big project?
01:19:29 – How to remain an optimistic


LINKS – (In order of appearance)
Moment Utopia



23. Paul Hawken: Live Fearlessly

Today my guest is Paul Hawken. Paul is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist. Paul is the author of at least eight books, many articles, blog posts. President Bill Clinton called his book, Natural Capitalism, one of the five most important books today. Paul’s latest book is called Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming.  Although Paul didn’t write this book Drawdown to give hope, he calls hope the pretty mask of fear. Saying instead that we must be fearless, not hopeful. I think you’ll find something in Paul’s interview here, something in Paul’s writing, that will help you to live more fully, more fearlessly.

00:02:01 – What is life about?
00:16:50 – People feeling powerless.
00:26:37 – Drawdown introduction.
00:33:19 – With what’s going on in the environment, is retirement planning necessary?
00:49:47 – What will the planet look like 50 years from now?
01:07:54 – Lightning round.
01:12:48  – Paul recommends libraries and used bookstores.
01:18:52 – Time structure as a writer.
01:27:46 – As a writer, how do you know you have something?
01:36:41 – The writing process.
01:48:35 – Read the books that save you from reading all the derivative books.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken
Paul Hawken: Project Drawdown | Real Time with Bill Maher
Paul Hawken on Twitter
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World

22. Rajagopal Raghunathan: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?

My guest is Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at the McCombs School of business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the author of, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? And he is the author behind one of the most popular, massively open online courses ever created. A course on Coursera called A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment that has been participated in by more than 250,000 students. It’s available to you online at no cost right now. Raj explains consumption behavior through themes from psychology, behavioral science, decision theory and marketing. He talks to the smart and successful, that’s who he’s writing for. People who have already accomplished a lot, people who are intelligent but maybe don’t yet experienced the level of happiness that they want or they don’t experience it as easily and as often as they’d like. We go deep on the topic of gratitude, something that can be trite, feel like something on a hallmark card. But Raj gets into the how and why it works, why it matters and how we can use it more effectively. In a final part of the interview, he talks a little bit about procrastination, how to overcome it, and how to overcome inertia that might keep you stuck. So I think you’ll find something that you can implement into your life and your creative endeavors. Enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Raj Raghunathan.

00:03:04 – Raj explains what life’s about.
00:08:16 – Why does the world need a book on happiness?
00:18:07 – The genie exercise.
00:27:48 – Is it really that simple?
00:52:24 – The link between generosity and happiness.
01:05:33 – Alternative definition of happiness.
01:17:54 – Lightening round.
01:41:54 – Raj’s lightning krkyptonite.
01:53:34 – The book proposal.
02:11:56 – Procrastination.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? by Rajagopal Raghunathan
A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment Coursera Course
Happysmarts.com – Raj website.

21. Adam Smiley Poswolsky: The Quarter-Life Breakthrough

Today my guest is Smiley Poswolsky, a millennial workplace expert, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough and The Breakthrough Speaker. Smiley is somebody that I met through friends. It turns out I’ve got three or four friends, who aren’t friends with each other, who all know Smiley. In our conversation today, we talk about the qualities of a good prank, the value of making the ask, not waiting for permission, the gatekeeper is often yourself. Smiley talks about writing the book you need, writing about whatever people are asking you. And then he gets into a few tips about public speaking. So, if sharing from a stage is something that you’re interested to do, Smiley’s a good guy to know. One of the things I love about this conversation is Smiley talks about his lifestyle. It made me think about the healthy writer’s lifestyle as opposed to maybe the unhealthy writer’s lifestyle. Where Smiley’s not fueled all the time by caffeine or alcohol or amphetamines or some of these things that might be conducive for productivity in the short term, but have a very bad outcome. I think Smiley is a great example of somebody who lives a very workable lifestyle that makes a big difference in the lives of many others while simultaneously earning money and having a good time doing it. 

00:02:25 – Burning man prank.
00:11:54 – Camp grounded.
00:18:33  – Who Adam writes to.
00:33:39 – Inner vs outer authority.
00:55:16 – The most surprising thing learned over the course of writing.
01:02:59 – Lightning round.
01:11:57 – Discussing the craft of writing.
01:27:35  – Adam’s process for finishing a book.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
The Quarter-0Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters – by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
The Breakthrough Speaker: How to Build a Public Speaking Career by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
Camp Grounded
I Am Not Your Guru
Date With Destiny with Tony Robbins
The Landmark Forum
Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Tony Robbins
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution by Derrick Jensen
Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

3. Gail Miller: A Life Of Integrity And Service

Gail is an American billionaire businesswoman and chairwoman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. She is the owner of the Utah Jazz NBA team, and the wealthiest person in Utah. Gail is also chairwoman of the Salt Lake Community College and a leading philanthropist.

On this podcast we are able to hear her story and feel the emotion and integrity created by a life of work and service. I hope you enjoy it, I really think you’ll love it.

2. davidji: 16 Seconds at a Time

Hello my friends, welcome to the School for Good Living podcast. In this episode, I talk with davidji. davidji has taught more than 200,000 people how to meditate. He ran the Chopra University for a decade, and I first met him when I attended Hay House’s “I Can Do It” summit in Seattle a couple years ago…spent a half-day in a workshop he led…loved what I heard, is perspectives on mindfulness and meditation. He really does demystify some of these things that seem so esoteric. He’s written 3 books: “Secrets of Meditation,” a guy who’s written a book about mediation—no surprise—he demystifies it. It’s a nautilus award-winning book. I highly recommend. He’s also written a book called “Destressifying,” where he takes out a lot of the mystical or religious associations of mindfulness and makes it very very practical in settings like schools or universities or workplaces…and law enforcement and military as well…a great book. And then his most recent book is one called “Sacred Powers,” and I really love what he says in “Sacred Powers,” and I think. you’ll enjoy this episode, hearing the journey of transformation that he experiences as he was working on Wallstreet, doing Mergers and Acquisitions, wearing a suit and tie everyday, and one day that all changed. He’ll tell you about that, and I think you’ll also enjoy hearing a bit about how he writes…kind of a unique process. And then some of the answers he provides in the lightning round I think are really cool too about how he travels internationally—rules he follows—and the one piece of advice he would give every American. I’ve never heard that before—a very interesting way of explaining what America is and what he wished every American knew. So, with that, I hope you enjoy this episode—I hope that it encourages you to practice even deeper mindfulness if that’s your thing. If you don’t, I think you’ll still enjoy hearing from a very dedicated, through and through, thorough person—if you think about it, when you talk to anyone who’s passionate about anything, and it’s so engrained in who they are, there’s something to be learned, and usually it’s enjoyable. davidji even meditates with his dog, Peaches, the Buddha Princess. So, enjoy!

1. Lynne Twist: The Pachamama Alliance

For more than 40 years Lynne has been recognized as a global visionary who is committed to alleviating poverty, ending world hunger, and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. From working with Mother Theresa in Calcutta, to the refugee camps in Ethiopia, and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, Lynne’s on-the-ground work has brought her a deep understanding of people’s relationship with money.

I journeyed to the Amazon rainforest with Lynne with my wife and with her husband Bill and a group of other adventurous souls a couple years ago and it changed who I am. I’ve since gone back. I’ve stayed a part of the Pachamama Alliance, the organization that Lynne has started, and in this conversation, we talk about the Pachamama Alliance…what inspired her to start it more than 20 years ago…and also about the humanitarian and philanthropic work she has done around the world…what is means to live a committed life…you’ll hear Lynne talk about not striving for balance but striving for integrity…really incredible perspective—some of what she shares about money…some of the views that she has going beyond the idea of scarcity…Oprah has had her on her show…she’s counseled US presidents…she is truly a leader…and it’s my great privilege to share with you this conversation now. So, I hope you enjoy, and I hope that if you don’t already know Lynne, that by knowing her, she’ll bless your life in similar ways to the ways she’s blessed mine.