Steve Pavlina: Personal Development for Smart People

Steve Pavlina is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and the author of Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth. After an arrest on charges of grand theft auto in 1991, Steve made a conscious decision to turn his life around. He founded Dexterity Software, a computer game development company that focused on nonviolent puzzle games. He has served as Vice President and later President, of the Association of Software Professionals. Seeing himself as an explorer and perpetual student, Steve closed his software company and started a personal development blog and website to create more meaningful ripples in the world. Steve has blogged over 2 million words of content and released the copyright encouraging people to take his work and merge it with their own. As a result he is co-author of at least 200 books.

Steve joins me today to talk about how he gets his ideas for his blog posts. We talk about his many personal experiments and passions including polyphasic sleep, vegetarianism, veganism, even 30 consecutive days at Disneyland, and a 40-day water fast. We also talk about a conscious growth club he runs and a time when he realized he could work fewer hours and get better results. A free thinker testing the conventional paths, he says the smarter we are, the faster we grow.

I decided what I really wanted to do was create a bigger growth-oriented community. And the goal is we all come together and we encourage the heck out of each other. We all help each other grow. We work together as a team. We actually get to know each other and we care about each other. We cooperate.”  – Steve Pavlina

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Twelve years in Catholic school where all the answers were given to you
  • A seminar with speaker Wayne Dyer changes Steve’s life
  • A dream for his twenties ran its course but it wasn’t meaningful enough
  • 2 million words on Steve’s blog and it’s all in the public domain
  • Writing for specific people
  • A long history of being connected with customers and readers of his blog
  • Steve’s process of asking the universe for writing inspiration, where it feels like a meditation
  • The accidental vegetarian (then vegan) – a 30-day experiment that just kept going
  • 30-day trial: Spending 30 consecutive days at Disneyland…voluntarily. What would it do to a person?
  • Steve created a group called Conscious Growth Club in 2017 and has now over 150 members
  • Find out how to connect to people – your tribe – of like-minded people aligned and interested in personal growth
  • What Steve finds many people struggle with is consistency and what that means
  • Finding that purpose you want to invest in for 20 years or more
  • 40-day trial: Water fasting
  • The toughest part of fasting is longer for women than men
  • Steve records every day of his fasting experience on his YouTube channel along  with a  personal growth lesson
  • The risks in fasting for long periods of time – it’s not what you might imagine
  • Experiments that are not worth doing
  • The benefits of group challenges
  • What there may be not-to-like about the personal growth field
  • Steven’s travel tips and why
  • The exercise that Americans don’t get enough of
  • What are you willing to say ‘Yes’ to?
  • Can you be wealthy without money? Holding wealth in the form of social goodwill
  • Steve’s favorite TV show and what it’s taught him
  • Social goals vs. Individual goals
  • The benefits of not holding grudges
  • The downfalls to focusing on individual success vs. investing in social bonds
  • Blocks to our more heart-centered paths
  • How being broke is an invitation to thinking about life differently

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.




Gita: A Timeless Guide For Our Time with Isaac Bentwich

Isaac Bentwich is a practitioner and teacher of yoga and meditation, and the author of Gita: A Timeless Guide For Our Time, a poetic translation of the Bhagavad Gita. A medical doctor by training and entrepreneur by profession, Isaac has founded several tech companies, including Quris Technologies, Ripples Technologies, and CropX LTD, each leading disruptive revolutions in the fields of medicine, genomics, and environmental conservation. At the core of Isaac’s life work is his inner spiritual journey – touched by the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita’s wisdom and his mission to share it with people.

Isaac joins me today to share his journey in writing Gita: A Timeless Guide For Our Time. He explains what the Bhagavad Gita is and illustrates how it’s a guide to help us define the meaning of life. He discusses the poetic nature of the Bhagavad Gita and shares some verses that impacted him. He also shares his thoughts on the creative process of writing a book as well as the joys he finds in meditation retreats.

“The Bhagavad Gita beckons you to listen to the inner wisdom of your soul.” – Isaac Bentwich

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • What’s life about for Isaac and how his spiritual journey underpins his profession
  • Isaac’s first encounter with the Bhagavad Gita and what compelled him to write a translation
  • How Isaac has made his translation of the Bhagavad Gita accessible while preserving its poetic and meditative nature
  • What the Bhagavad Gita is, its history, its teachings, and how it defines the meaning of life
  • Isaac’s journey through yoga and the interconnection between his practice as a medical doctor and the Bhagavad Gita
  • The use of battle as a setting in the Bhagavad Gita and an excerpt that completely drew Isaac in
  • The people the Bhagavad Gita has impacted and how it inspired them
  • Why the Bhagavad Gita is a handbook on mindfulness and a guide on everyday living
  • How mastering the mind can help us create and write a book
  • Isaac’s experiences with months-long meditative retreats

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Unwavering Focus with Dandapani

Dandapani is a Hindu priest and creator of the Unwavering Focus and Introduction to Meditation courses, as well as the Dandapani: Learn to Focus app. Before spending ten years of his life as a monk under the tutelage of the guru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Dandapani graduated from university with a degree in Electrical Engineering. In addition to his priesthood, Dandapani is an entrepreneur who has worked with athletes and organizations such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Nike. Additionally, he is also a speaker whose TEDx Talk, Unwavering Focus, has garnered over 3 million views on YouTube. Dandapani empowers people all over the world by teaching them how to cultivate focus and concentration through the techniques that have been used by Hindu monks for thousands of years.

Dandapani joins me today to discuss the power of focus and concentration. He explains how concentration is something everyone is told to do but not taught how to do and underscores the importance of understanding the mind. He shares the story of how he became a monk and describes his mission to build a botanical garden in Costa Rica. He also enumerates the differences between the mind and awareness, as well as reveals how you can experience the divinity within yourself through the act of writing.

“Concentration is the first fundamental step to change.” – Dandapani

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Why Dandapani has dedicated his life to teaching people to develop their focus and concentration
  • The importance of understanding the mind, how concentration can be taught, and why concentration comes before meditation
  • The guru that inspired Dandapani to live ten years in a monastery as a monk
  • The purpose of Dandapani’s botanical garden project in Costa Rica
  • Finding a philosophy you can commit to, and the fear of people over getting associated with a religion or spirituality
  • Why Dandapani recommends reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The difference between the mind and awareness, and how learning to control your awareness impacts the mind
  • The path of the householder and why there’s nothing wrong with making money
  • The power of writing as a creative tool to eradicate unresolved emotions

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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 Reading Brain with Maryanne Wolf

Maryanne Wolf is the author of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century, Dyslexia, Fluency, and the Brain as well as over 160 scientific articles. She is a scholar, teacher, and Director of the newly-created Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice at UCLA. Maryanne began her work in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psycholinguistics at the Department of Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University, where she also completed her doctorate. A staunch advocate for children and global literacy, Maryanne designed the Rave-O, reading intervention for children with dyslexia and co-founded Curious Learning, a global literacy initiative.

Maryanne joins me today to discuss the neuroscience of reading. She explains how the act of reading creates circuits in our brains and allow us to gain a deeper perspective and cultivate empathy. She illustrates how the modern reader’s tendency to skim through reading mediums impacts their memory and democracy. She also underscores the need for every teacher to understand the science of reading and how reading helps children realize their fullest potential as human beings.


“Deep reading is the ability to bear all of our best and most sophisticated intellectual processes: the discernment and evaluation of truth, beauty, and ‘other’.” – Maryanne Wolf

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Maryanne’s experience while teaching in Hawaii and how she was inspired to study neuroscience
  • How reading helps children achieve their fullest potential as human beings
  • The evolution and neuroscience of reading, and how we create circuits in our brain through the act of reading
  • The brain on processing different languages and how reading on a screen affects neuroplasticity
  • The definition of deep reading and how it helps us widen our perspectives and cultivate empathy
  • Linda Stone’s ‘continuous partial attention,’ and the sharp decline of empathy in our generation
  • How distraction affects memory, empathy, and democracy
  • Reading as a form of magic and how language helps create a bridge to the highest aspect of our being

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Improving Employee Recognition with Dr. Bob Nelson

Dr. Bob Nelson is the bestselling author of multiple business management and employee engagement books, including 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, Recognizing & Engaging Employees for Dummies, and 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees. He is the world’s leading expert on employee recognition, motivation, and engagement and has sold over 5-Million copies of his books, which have been translated into over 30 languages. Bob is a long-time collaborator and confidante of Dr. Ken Blanchard, the co-author of The One Minute Manager. He has earned notable recognition and awards, including the 2019 Top 20 Global Management Guru Award by Global Gurus. He has presented keynote speeches, webinars, and presentations on topics related to employee recognition, management, motivation, and engagement and has been featured in mainstream media publications, including The New York Times, CNN, 60 Minutes, Inc. Magazine, Fortune Magazine, and BusinessWeek.

Dr. Bob Nelson joins me today to discuss what it was like having Peter Drucker as a mentor and teacher. He explains what it really means to recognize your employees and shares tips and ideas on how employers can make employee recognition and engagement part of their daily management routine. We discuss what is required to create a great workplace culture and why accountability matters. We discuss strategies for giving effective feedback to your team and how to effectively acknowledge our colleagues, co-workers, and employees. We also discuss what ‘management’ truly means in the workplace and strategies managers can use to become more effective leaders.

“Don’t do stuff just to be nice. Do stuff to rally around performance that matters at the individual and group basis and organizational basis.” – Dr. Bob Nelson

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Dr. Bob’s upbringing and his journey to becoming the world’s leading authority on employee recognition, motivation, and engagement
  • Dr. Bob’s experiences and the lessons he learned from Peter Drucker
  • How he helps organizations improve employee engagement and recognition
  • The importance of making employee recognition and engagement a top priority within your organization
  • Effective strategies you can use to increase their employee engagement
  • How to hire, train, and evaluate leaders and employees
  • The characteristics of a great leader and the importance of being a good role model for future leaders within your organization
  • How to address poor-performing employees, the concept of a ‘human relations bank account,’ and strategies to reward good performance
  • Managing employee expectations by being straight-forward and sincere
  • The importance of focusing employee recognition on their performance instead of their presence

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Happiness Is A Choice with John Leland Part 2

John Leland is the author of Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old, Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think). John is also a public speaker and an award-winning journalist for the New York Times, where he writes features for the Sunday Metropolitan section. Before his work at the New York Times, John served as a senior editor for Newsweek and worked at other publications, including Details, Newsday, and Spin.

John joins me today to discuss why older people may be happier than younger people and the benefit of being selective with who you surround yourself with. He shares what it truly means to be storyteller, how to know if your story is worth telling, and how to bring your work to completion. John also highlights where the strength of a sentence lies and the power of truth-telling as a writer.

“Getting older is another way of living. Aging and living are the same thing.”  – John Leland

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Why there may be a relationship between happiness and age
  • How John has shifted his perspective on aging to live a better life
  • The two people who have had the most notable influence on John as a writer
  • Why John sees a significant distinction between his work as a journalist and as an author
  • How John defines storytelling and how he knows when a book is worth writing
  • John’s experiences with writer’s block and how to effectively address it
  • A peek into John’s writing process and aspects of his routine
  • How distancing yourself from your stories can provide a useful perspective
  • John’s insight into effectively pitching and selling a book and the importance of connecting with your audience

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Happiness Is A Choice with John Leland Part 1

John Leland is the author of Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old. He is also a public speaker and an award-winning journalist for the New York Times where he writes features for the Sunday Metropolitan section. Before his work at the New York Times, John served as a senior editor for Newsweek and worked at other publications, including Details, Newsday, and Spin. In addition to his latest book, John has authored two other books entitled Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think).

John joins me today to discuss the renewed perspective on aging he has gained in the process of researching for his latest book. He shares the importance of living a full life rather than just a long one and how the way we frame our lives impacts our mindset and emotional experience, especially as we age. John also highlights the limiting perspectives that many of us who haven’t aged have developed about getting older and whether it is possible to live a full life when faced with loss.

“That sense that we are living for the things that matter to us is available to us all the time.” – John Leland

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Common themes with the things that truly matter to most of us
  • What Happiness Is a Choice You Make is about and why John wrote it
  • John’s shift in perspective on aging as he wrote and researched for his book
  • How John approached the task of following six elderly individuals for a year
  • How John chose which six people to highlight and a sneak peek into some of their stories
  • The impact that purpose-driven mindset can have on someone’s older years
  • A major failure in John’s life and what he learned from the experience
  • The difference in how John approaches his articles and his book and the feedback he has received
  • The story of how John changed a lightbulb for one of his interview subjects, and why this was so significant for John as a journalist
  • John’s thoughts on the science of longevity and what matters more than how long we live

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Modern Elder Academy with Chip Conley Part 2

Deemed “Most Innovative CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, Chip Conley is an award-winning hospitality entrepreneur, business and psychology thought leader and New York Times best-selling author. Chip is the Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership for Airbnb, and formerly served as the company’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy. He is the founder of the Modern Elder Academy, as well as Joie de Vivre Hospitality, where he served as CEO for 24 years.  Chip is on the Stanford Center for Longevity’s advisory board and has written five books, including [email protected], Emotional Equations, and PEAK.  

Chip joins me today to discuss retirement, purpose, and how your mindset on aging can add years to your life. He explains the difference between getting older and becoming an elder as well as the common feelings that often accompany transitions. He shares insights into his writing process, how he shapes and structures his books, and his ideal chapter length. Chip also highlights how book marketing has changed from what it used to be and what makes people more likely to buy a book in the moment.

“Wisdom is not taught; it’s shared.”  – Chip Conley

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • How retirement relates to mortality rate and why
  • Three things that people tend to lose when they retire and the relationship many people have between work and purpose
  • The difference between getting older and getting elder 
  • Common feelings that accompany transitions and how embracing a growth mindset can move you into a state of flow
  • Chips insights for effectively dealing with jet lag
  • Questions to ask yourself to become more aware of your relationship with money
  • Chip’s creative process for daily blogging and his process for book writing
  • How Chip organizes his time and sets himself up for success in the writing process
  • The importance of building your own community and platform when it comes to marketing and promoting your book 
  • What liminal means and how people tend to relate to the possibility of changes ahead of them

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Modern Elder Academy with Chip Conley Part 1

Chip Conley is an award-winning hospitality entrepreneur, business and psychology thought leader and New York Times best-selling author, deemed “Most Innovative CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times. Chip is the Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership for Airbnb, and formerly served as the company’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy. He is the founder of the Modern Elder Academy, as well as Joie de Vivre Hospitality, where he served as CEO for 24 years.  Chip is on the Stanford Center for Longevity’s advisory board and has written five books, including [email protected], Emotional Equations, and PEAK.  

Chip joins me today to share his insights on embracing elderhood, aging, and life satisfaction. He highlights the distinction between elders and the elderly, when adolescence became coined as a term and life stage, and the more recent concept of “middlescence.” He explains how our perspectives change as we age and how he defines the ‘u-curve of happiness.’ Chip also shares the strengths that different age groups bring to the table and why embracing age diversity is so effective.

“The more digital we get, the more ritual we need.”  – Chip Conley

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Characteristics of the first and second half of life and realizations people tend to have in midlife
  • Chip’s encounters with death and the perspective he gained through his experiences
  • What the u-curve of happiness is and how life satisfaction and happiness shift over time
  • The difference between attainment and attunement
  • Chip’s love of festivals, his insight into the festival world, and trends he has noticed
  • How our perspectives change as we get older and how our brains change and evolve as we age
  • The power of embracing age diversity by working together across generations
  • What elderhood truly means and what prepares people for elderhood
  • How society regards the elder of the past versus the modern elder
  • The importance of human-to-human interaction no matter what type of company you run
  • What psychological safety looks and how it helps build effective teams

Resources Mentioned:

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.

Staring Down the Wolf with Mark Divine

Mark Divine is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of USCrossFit, SEALFIT, Unbeatable Mind, and NavySEALs.com. Mark spent twenty years with the Navy SEALS as an officer and commander. He is an expert in the human performance arena and has tested his training techniques on special operations candidates with a 90 percent success rate. Mark is a New York Times bestselling author and has written books including The Way of the SEAL, 8 Weeks to SEALFIT, Kokoro Yoga, Unbeatable Mind, SEALFIT Training Guide, and most recently, Staring Down the Wolf.

Mark joins me today to discuss the contents of Staring Down the Wolf and the importance of self-awareness and facing your fears and shadows. He shares the distinction between principles and commitments and how committing to excellence and embracing a growth mindset as a leader can help your team experience accelerated growth. Mark also highlights how relationships play a role in our lives and why you should lead with togetherness and heart rather than ego.

“Nothing happens to us without us impacting how it happened.” – Mark Divine

This week on The School for Good Living Podcast:

  • Why Mark wrote Staring Down the Wolf, who he wrote it for, and the structure of the book
  • The seven commitments outlined in Mark’s book and the two primary aspects of every commitment
  • Why it is essential to look at the ‘shadow side’ of your commitments
  • What you need to do as an entrepreneurial leader to build an elite team, and its benefits
  • Whether everyone has the potential to be an effective leader
  • Why no one is exempt from the need to lead and the earliest relationships and leadership roles we all have
  • How the nature of our minds can impact our perception of experience and the responsibility we have to acknowledge our role in our reality
  • Why you should find and fight for your calling rather than merely getting by
  • The opportunities we have during this time of crisis and uncertainty

Resources Mentioned:

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the School for Good Living Podcast, with your host, Bryan 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.