Clark Strand: Waking Up to the Dark

Today my guest is Clark Strand, author of Waking Up To The Dark: Ancient Wisdom For A Sleepless Age. Clark is someone who has written six books and he’s also written for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, New York Times, Newsweek’s blog on Faith, Tricycle (which is a Buddhist magazine you might know), Body and Soul, Spirituality and Health.

In this interview we talk about a number of things that you might find interesting and useful. Clark talks about something called bimodal sleep and he shares both in the book and in this interview, research done by a doctor named Thomas Wehr. Dr. Wehr was looking for human beings’ primordial pattern of sleep, wanting to know how did human beings sleep before the electrical age. We also touch on light pollution – what it’s doing to our environment and what it’s doing to our bodies. Clark shares the view that electrification was the worst thing that’s ever happened to our planet (which is a pretty bold claim), but he goes on to explain what he means by that.

We also talk about his new book out November 5, 2019. It’s titled The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary. He’s the founder of an eco feminist rosary group and if you want to investigate online before you invest your time in listening to the interview, you can go to and check it out. But at any rate, I suspect that Clark will share some views that you don’t typically hear in the circles you run in or the conversations you have. If you do, I want to be a part of your conversations. All right with that, please enjoy this conversation with Clark Strand.

00:05:10 – What’s life about?
00:17:02 – The worst thing that’s ever happened for the planet.
00:25:13 – Dr. Thomas Wehr.
00:34:17 – Shintoism.
00:38:50 – Anthropocene.
00:53:11 – The Sleep industry.
01:10:17 – The Way of the Rose.
01:29:10  – Lightning round.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post. **

Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age by Clark Strand
The Way of the Rose – on Facebook
The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary

Dean Burnett: The Idiot Brain

My conversation today is with Dean Burnett. Dean is a neuroscientist, a lecturer, an author, a blogger or podcaster, a pundit science communicator, comedian, and numerous other things – depending on who’s asking and what they need.

Dean discusses with us his book, “Idiot Brain, What Your Head Is Really Up To”. It’s one of five books that he’s written in the last few years. He’s very prolific. And I really enjoyed this book. This book goes through and takes a look at why we do the things we do and offers some of the latest scientific rationale, but in a very humorous way, very insightful way. Dean’s writing has been published all over the world and he’s very popular – especially in the United Kingdom.

I asked him about how he married his interest and passion in standup comedy with neuroscience. We talk about depression and mental illness, something he’s written about extensively. We talk about the blog posts he wrote that had more than 3 million readers (as a surprise to him) and how that was the passage from being an amateur to a pro.

We also talk about some of the egocentric biases that the brain has. Things that we are largely unaware of, whether or not we have free will. We talk about personality, what it is, if we can change it, and then we get into a discussion about writing and the creative process. We talk a little bit about promotion as we often do. I think you’ll enjoy this conversation with Dean. He’s a very humble guy with some interesting perspectives. So with that, please enjoy this conversation with my new Welsh friend, Dean Burnett.

00:04:00 – What’s life about?
00:12:52 – Embalming cadavers.
00:20:20 – Knitting a sweater out of cotton candy.
00:26:57 – Have a go…at stand-up comedy.
00:35:10 – I didn’t think I was allowed to write a book.
00:37:15 – Our second brain.
00:52:20  – Mental health.
01:20:53  – The Lightning Round.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post. **

Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To
Why Your Parents Are Driving You Up The Wall And What To Do About It
Psycho-logical on Audible
Dean Burnett website
@DeanBurnettAuthor – on Facebook
@garwboy – on Twitter
Brain Yapping blog
Brain Yapping – The Podcast

Nathalie Molina Niño: Leapfrog

Hello my friends, today my guest is Nathalie Molina Nino. Never having met before, I was interested to interview Nathalie because she has some very different perspectives and experience in life from me. She’s Latina, originally from Ecuador in South America, who came to the United States. She was raised here, learned english perfectly, spent time as the family’s interpreter in some ways, and describes in this interview the experience of feeling like she didn’t belong here, but reframes an experience that is so common and so disempowering one where she feels she belongs…everywhere.

Today Nathalie is an impact investor, focused on making a catalytic impact on women in the world. Nathalie’s book, “Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs” is a book that she wrote following her own advice. I think especially if you are interested in entrepreneurship, that you’ll find something valuable in this interview and my invitation is to listen to see what’s probably a different perspective from one that you’ve had before, or at least from many, many of my guests so far.

00:04:27 – What’s life about?
00:13:46 – Why did you write this book?
00:21:21 – What does Leapfrog mean to you?
00:30:25 – Co-authors and Ghostwriters
01:20:40  – Lightning round.
01:43:04 – How to connect with Nathalie.
01:44:00 – Writing advice.

**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post. **

Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs
Eat A Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World – by Sam Kass
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life – by Twyla Tharp
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – by Michael E. Gerber
Nathalie Molina Niño on LinkedIn

Pascal Finette: The Heretic

Pascal is Singularity University’s Chair for Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation. He is the cofounder and enfant terrible of Radical Ventures, which he explains what that means. His work focuses on the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, culture, and global impact. Pascal has founded a series of startups and he has a deep background in technology including being on the Internet before web browsers. He led Ebay’s platform solutions group in Europe. He held leadership positions at Mozilla and he’s helped build startups. Pascal has written a book called The Heretic, Daily Therapeutics for Entrepreneurs and has blogged and written a newsletter for a long time, more than 1,200 posts. In this interview, he shares a lot of what he’s seen in the world of technology, what’s on the horizon, how our world will be different from these disruptive exponential technologies that are coming down the pike, things that are already transforming our world, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, 3D printing, autonomous driving, gene editing and so on. He talks about the importance of a purpose for your organization and the difference between a purpose and a mission. He also walks through a simple framework to help you articulate yours in a very clear, compelling, powerful way. We go deep into his methods to prepare and deliver really powerful messages from the stage. Things that I’m not sure how many lifetimes I would live before they occurred to me, but fortunately I learned them in this interview with Pascal.

00:02:44 – What’s life about?
00:07:41 – Growing up.
00:13:33 – Processing information for the Heretic.
00:31:23 – Sure bets in the future.
00:38:09 – First principals thinking.
00:52:36 – Mulago Foundation.
01:07:42  – Lightning round.
01:26:10  – Thoughts on writing.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post. **

Pascal’s Website
Radical Ventures
The Heretic
Mulago Foundation

Askshay Nanavati: Fearvana

Hello my friends, today my guest is Akshay Nanavati – author of Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth, and Happiness. In this book, Akshay defines Fearvana as the bliss that results from engaging our fears to pursue our own worthy struggle.

Akshay has lived in Bombay, Bangalore, Singapore, Austin, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota because, hey, why not? So in this interview he shares his experiences, what he’s done with his life, including joining the Marine Corps, where he spent time sweeping in front of vehicle convoys to find explosives. He’s skydived, mountain biked, scuba dived, rock climbed, ice climbed, anything he says that forced him to face his fears.

In the Forward to his book, the Dalai Lama writes (and I love this, I get to quote the Dalai Lama), he says, “his book Fearvana inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences suggesting means for overcoming our fears. I appreciate his sincerity and hope that others will find reason and the encouragement to see the positive side of their lives.” This interview is one that I think you’ll find pretty interesting.

00:03:37 – What’s life about?
00:08:37 – Asking the Dalai Lama for his blessing
00:11:15 – The Ethos of Fearvana
00:23:58 – Two guys volunteering Marine Corps style
00:37:32 – Your past is a lie
0042:04 – Seven days in darkness
00:59:27  – The lightning round
01:07:57 – The writing process

**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through Amazon links in this post. **
FEARVANA: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Hammer Nutrition

Brian Scudamore: WTF?! Willing To Fail

Brian is the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, Ordinary to Exceptional. 1-800-GOT-JUNK, WOW, One Day Painting, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. He’s also a regular contributor to Forbes.

Brian is a high school and a college dropout who has built what has become a nearly half a billion-dollar group of companies. Brian is also author of WTF?! (Willing To Fail: How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success. Brian talks about passion and if you don’t know exactly what you’re passionate about, how to approach finding your passion or not bothering and just making a commitment instead.

We talk about his company’s values, how he decided what they would be and the difference they have made in his organization. Brian shares about the inclusiveness with which he has grown his organization from the time it was called rubbish boys when it was really just himself. Brian also shares why he has his assistant lock him out of his own social media and email while he’s on vacation. If you have an entrepreneurial bone in your body, I think you’ll enjoy this conversation with Brian.

 00:02:38 – What’s life about?
00:08:43 – Advice on clarity.
00:26:58 – Why did Brian write WTF?
00:41:47 – Racing to the conflict.
00:50:25 – Lightning round.
01:06:15  – A deeper discussion of the book writing process.

**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through some links in this post. **

O2E Brands
WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success
Brian Scudamore Instagram

AJ Jacobs: Immersion Journalism

In this episode my guest is AJ Jacobs – author, journalist, lecturer, and human guinea pig. AJ has written four New York Times bestsellers, with his writing combining memoir, science, humor, and a dash of self help. His genre immersion journalism, has also been called stunt journalism, where he goes deep into a particular topic or experience and then writes about it (sometimes for years).

Jacobs also writes for the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and New York Magazine. His most recent book and the one that we explore most in this interview is, Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, where he endeavors to thank everyone who was involved in making his morning cup of coffee possible.

We also talk about his creative process. We talk about how he chooses the topics that he devotes years of his life to. We talk about how he finishes, how he gets books over the finish line and have them be good. I believe that you will take away at least one thing that will improve the quality of your life and help you to make a contribution to others. So please enjoy.

00:03:21 – What’s life about?
00:13:27 – Origin Story
00:28:18 – How did writing this book change your life?
00:30:25 – Expressing yourself naturally
00:35:38 – Lightning round.
01:02:13 – The Creative Process
01:07:06 – Reaching the finish line

**The School for Good Living receives commissions for purchases made through some links in this post. **

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey
TED Talk: My Journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee
World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation
Walker’s Game Ear Muff
Twitter – @AJJacobs

Erwan Le Corre: The Practice of Natural Movement

Erwan Le Corre is the acknowledged founder and leader of the concept of Natural Movement. He’s been called one of the fittest men in the world and a fitness visionary by Men’s Health magazine.

Erwan was born in France where he grew up with a black and white TV, no remote, no video games, no personal computers and no internet. His father encouraged him to run, crawl, climb, and jump. He was introduced to karate at 15 years old which taught him discipline, method, and commitment.

By the time Erwan was 19, he’d trained for seven years in both natural and urban settings – climbing bridges, balancing on high places, jumping on roofs, walking on all fours in the underground, swimming in cold water and practicing all manner of breath training and fighting techniques. At 27, he started a period of sailing, olympic weight lifting, rock climbing, long distance triathlon, trail running, and Jujitsu. At 33, he started researching European history of physical education, discovering forgotten training methods.  If you are not familiar with his work and you enjoy movement, you’ll enjoy this interview. 



00:02:31 – What’s life about?
00:04:16 – What our world is missing.
00:17:06 – Poor relationship with father.
00:25:13 – The reason for his children’s names.
00:29:23 – Helping the homeless man in China.
00:38:40 – Climbing Notre Dame.
00:56:50 – Lightning round.
01:08:12  – Questions about the creative process.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health, and Freedom by Erwan Le Corre
Erwan’s Website


David Burkus: Friend of A Friend

Today’s guest on The School for Good Living Podcast is David Burkus who says, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

David was named one of the world’s top business thought leaders by Thinkers 50. He’s a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, his work has been featured in multiple publications such as Fast Company, The Financial Times, Ink Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, and he has a Ted Talk that’s been viewed about 2 million times!

I liked David from the moment I met him. He’s an interesting guy, very charismatic, he’s got a great message, and he knows how to entertain. We talk about weak ties, dormant ties, how most of us allow our networks to grow organically, but says David, we shouldn’t. David shares about the idea that networking is not necessarily about making new connections, but it’s about understanding the network you’re already in and making new connections as part of that. He talks about the idea of super connectors, people who have a disproportionately high level of connections with the network and how we can be ‘One’.

And as we get into the writing and the creativity section (the two things I love), you’ll hear him talk about work writing as a journeyman – just showing up and putting in the miles, so to speak. It’s a perspective he’s learned from Dan Pink. He also shares how writing professionally can be the inverse of earning a master’s degree, where instead of dropping tens of thousands of dollars writing some kind of a thesis that very few people read, publishers pay you! A fascinating individual and academic, but also a really practical guy, I present to you my friend David Burkus.

00:02:24 – What’s life about?
00:05:47 – How do you introduce yourself?
00:08:19 – Who is Friend of a Friend written to?
00:24:40 – Facebook or Gmail roulette.
00:29:14 -Lack of connection through social media.
00:40:42 – Curiosity Conversations.
00:47:34 – Lightning round.
00:52:19 – $20 rule.
01:06:25 – TEDx comment.
01:13:21 – Phase 0 and first time authors.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
BOOKS by David Burkus

Michael Bungay Stanier: The Coaching Habit

Today my guest is Michael Bungay Stainer, founder and CEO of Box of Crayons and author of The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever. He’s also written Do More Great Work: Stop the Busy Work, Start the Work that Matters.

Box of Crayons is a company that helps organizations do less good work and more great work. Michael is a teacher of 10 minute coaching, to help busy managers and leaders build stronger teams and get better results. Michael is someone that I’ve met through Marshall Goldsmith’s MG 100 and his book is a kind of book that when I learned of it, I started to see it and hear it about it everywhere. I picked it up and I found that it’s an extraordinarily useful little book. Michael says in this interview that he was his aim to write the shortest book possible that was still useful. He also talks about the best question in the world, which he shares in this interview and how to use it, and why you would want to.

Michael was the first Canadian coach of the year in 2006, he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University and he has written for all kinds of publications. Michael is a very smart, thoughtful, engaging thought leader who can help you become a better whatever you already are. Enjoy.

02:47 – What’s life about?
10:36 – Creating books as an experience.
13:52 – Two ways of using stories.
18:06 – A great opening question.
22:46 – Finishing a conversation.
32:57 – Lightning round.
44:34 – Lessons learned.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
Michael Bungay Stainer books.
Box of Crayons
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier