Good Life Project || Inspiration | Motivation | Happiness | Meaning | Success

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Synopsis

Inspiring People, Stories, Interviews and Insights

Episodes

  • Najwa Zebian | You Are Your Home

    21/10/2021 Duration: 01h23min

    Najwa Zebian is a Lebanese-Canadian activist, author, speaker, and educator who developed a passion for language at a young age, immersing herself in Arabic poetry and novels. As someone who found herself repeated displaced, leaving Lebanon for Canada when she was 16, not realizing it wasn’t just a trip, but rather a permanent change, would she’d find herself searching for a home—what Najwa describes as a place where the soul and heart feel at peace, a quest that continues into her adult life.Her passion for language, quest to understand her place in the world and compassion for those who’ve been displaced and disenfranchised led her to pursue a Ph.D. in education. But it was an experience teaching young refugees that rekindled her love of writing, after having left it behind because of an association with pain. She began to heal her sixteen-year-old self by writing to heal her students. Since self-publishing her first collection of poetry and prose in 2016, Najwa has become an inspiration to millions of peop

  • Adam J. Kurtz | Art, Life & Backhanded Optimism

    18/10/2021 Duration: 56min

    Adam J. Kurtz (whose artist’s identity is Adam JK, is a designer, artist, and speaker whose work is rooted in emotional honesty, humor and even a little bit of darkness, but always with the intention of connection, honoring the reality of any given moment, and being honest. He’s been making and sharing on the internet since age creating his first fan website at twelve years old, eventually went to school for graphic design and learned to express, in his words “slightly too much." Adam’s work embraces the world with a certain "backhanded optimism" and a dark sense of humor or what he describes as "positivity adjacent." And he speaks frankly about channeling human emotion into art, and generally just trying to be more okay with whatever we've got and wherever we are in life. This comes out, often, in the form of hand-lettered aphorisms and illustrations that you’ll find all over the internet and social platforms, as well as in books, merch, prints, stationary and brand-focused gifts under his ADAMJK® brand

  • Dr. Maya Shankar | Change Happens

    14/10/2021 Duration: 01h02min

    Imagine being so drawn to a pursuit as a kid, it consumes most of your waking hours, rapidly becomes your identity, and is the thing you believe you’ll devote your life to, and then, in the blink of an eye, it’s taken away. That’s what happened to Maya Shankar, who fell in love with the violin as a small child, studied it with love and devotion, was being mentored by the legendary Itzhak Perlman, and was sure it would be her profession for life. Until, an injury took it all away in the blink of an eye. How that moment affected her, and how she’d eventually discover a new, equally fulfilling devotion years later - human behavior and cognitive science - is a big part of today’s conversation, along with a deep dive into how we change our minds.Maya is currently the Senior Director of Behavioral Economics at Google and is the Creator, Host, and Executive Producer of “A Slight Change of Plans”, a podcast with Pushkin Industries. Maya previously served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded

  • Joanne Lee Molinaro | Bridging Worlds Through Story

    11/10/2021 Duration: 01h04min

    Joanne Molinaro was deep into her career as a full-time attorney when she started blogging as The Korean Vegan, a nod to both her heritage and her curiosity about reimagining the cuisine she grew up on. She soon after launched a TikTok account that exploded and, along with her other platforms, boasts over 3.5 million fans. She’s appeared on The Food Network and Al Jazeera English, been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, and CNN, and has just released her debut cookbook + memoir, The Korean Vegan Cookbook.A Korean American woman, born in Chicago, Joanne’s parents were both born in what is now known as North Korea. Their harrowing journey to the states led them to settle in Chicago. From her earliest days, she was deeply aware of inequity and felt an empathic call to advocacy, along with the impulse to help guide people through a process of change. That led her into the law, which remained her central devotion, literally, until the day before we recorded this conversation

  • Julia Cameron | Living the Artist’s Way [Best Of]

    07/10/2021 Duration: 01h02min

    In 1992, after years of teaching workshops on creative unblocking, Julia Cameron self-published The Artist's Way, which became a global phenomenon that sold millions of copies, was translated into 40 languages, and anchors companion workshops that have brought creativity into the mainstream conversation. Along the way, Julia has authored more than 40 books, plays and screenplays, written for Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and collaborated with legends of television and movies, including Martin Scorsese, who would, for a time, become her partner in life as well. A few years back, I had a great opportunity to sit down with Julia in her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a beautifully honest and open, deep-dive conversation that ranged from her upbringing to her entrée into the writing life, her years-long struggle with addiction and awakening from it, her time in Hollywood, swept up in the world of movies, and her fierce commitment to her craft and to helping others find their cre

  • Matt Haig | Reasons to Stay Alive (and then some)

    04/10/2021 Duration: 56min

    At the age of 24, living in Ibiza, Matt Haig stepped to the ledge of a cliff with the intention of launching himself to his end. But something pulled him back. That experience led him and his girlfriend, who’d eventually become his wife, back to his childhood home where Matt would begin the process of picking up the pieces of his life. A writer, he kept that season of profound darkness, revelation, and recovery within his family, while he deepened into a career as a novelist and children’s book author. But years later, a simple blog post that he never thought anyone would see effectively outed that experience, leading to a book a year later called Reasons to Stay Alive that became a massive bestseller and also expanded Matt’s notoriety into the world of personal growth. He’s since blended fiction and nonfiction, penning more novels, something exploring big existential questions, but in honest and accessible ways. His book, The Midnight Library, just hit 2 million copies sold, and Matt’s latest book, The

  • Kristoffer Carter (“KC”) | Permission to Glow

    30/09/2021 Duration: 01h13min

    I first met Kristoffer Carer nearly a decade ago when he raised his hand to participate in the inaugural Good Life Project immersion. It was a yearlong deep dive into work and life that we ran for about 5 years. Kristoffer or KC as most people call him, was running fast. I wasn’t sure if he was running toward something as much as he was running from it. In the end, like most of us, it was probably both. A married dad of three living in Ohio and working at a Chicago ad-tech startup after exiting life as a touring musician, he stumbled upon a book that would change the direction of his life. Our lives intersected just as that existential reimagining was shifting into high gear. There was this moment during our first weekend together, 15 strangers who’d become fast family in an industrial space in downtown Manhattan. I caught him out of the corner of my eye, sitting cross-legged against a 100-year-old wall of leaded windows, the light pouring in behind him. Hands laying open over his knees as he sat in meditatio

  • Mel Robbins | The High 5 Habit & Beyond

    27/09/2021 Duration: 01h08min

    Mel Robbins is one of the leading voices in personal development and transformation and an international bestselling author. Her work includes the global phenomenon The 5 Second Rule, four #1 bestselling audiobooks, the #1 podcast on Audible, as well as signature online courses that have changed the lives of more than half a million students worldwide and now her groundbreaking new book, The High 5 Habit. As one of the most widely booked and followed public speakers in the world, Mel coaches more than 60 million people online every month and videos featuring her work have more than a billion views online, including her TEDx talk, which is one of the most popular of all time.But, I also know Mel in a different way. She’s a dear friend of mine, with a fierce intellect, a giant heart and desire to make a genuine difference in people’s lives, starting with her own. She shares, very publicly, her own inner dance with anxiety, compulsion, negativity, and judgment, in a real, relatable, non-sugar-coated way. Mel has

  • The Joy of Work [For Real] | Sparked Stories

    23/09/2021 Duration: 56min

    So question for you: When was the last time you did something where it was so immersive, so enjoyable it so captivated, the essence of who you are that you completely lost track of time? You just vanished into the experience, the activity, the moment, the conversation, the relationship, like the world around you ceased to exist. The only thing that you became aware of, if you were even aware of that, was you and the thing that you were doing, or the person or the group of people that you were engaging with or all of those things, but everything outside of that, it just vanished away. And you felt like in that one moment in time, whether it lasted a minute, whether it lasted an hour, whether it lasted a day or a week or a month for whatever window that happened, it was like, the world was, as it should be, your world was, as it should be, you are doing the thing that you were here to do with people.What if the way you work could give you that feeling? Sounds bizarre, right? It sounds like it's some sort of, yo

  • Jonathan & Cyndie | Turning the Mic on Jonathan

    20/09/2021 Duration: 54min

    This episode will be unlike any conversation we’ve ever aired on Good Life Project. For the first time on the podcast, I’m on the other side of the mic. And, to be honest, the thought of it kind of terrifies me. Even now, with it’s recorded and I know how it went and what’s on tape, it still kind of terrifies me. I’m pretty comfortable asking the questions, and even answering questions on other people’s shows. This, however, is different. Today, I asked my dear friend, big-hearted human, renowned keynote speaker, community builder, “personal power alchemist,”* bestselling author, and all-around truth-teller, Cyndie Spiegel, to sit in the interviewer’s seat and not let me off the hook. That’s exactly what she did, in the kindest, but also realest way possible. I trusted her to push me into places I never go, topics I never speak about. This was a conversation that made me squirm, in the best of ways.Why would I do this? Because, by the time you’re listening to this, my new book SPARKED, will be out, or li

  • Jessi Hempel | Creating Space to Grow

    16/09/2021 Duration: 01h01min

    I’ve been a fan of Jessi Hempel’s writing and amazing podcast, Hello Monday, for years now, but it was her deeply insightful six-part series on re-opening the world of work that led us into the virtual studio space to jam. Jessi is a senior editor at large at LinkedIn and host of the award-winning podcast Hello Monday. For the past 18 years, she has been writing and editing features and cover stories about the most important people and companies in technology. Most recently, she was the head of editorial for Backchannel and a senior writer at Wired, where she profiled Dr. Fei-Fei Li and covered Uber’s attempted comeback. Earlier in her career, she was a senior writer for Fortune, where she co-chaired Fortune’s Aspen tech conference. Before that, Jessi wrote for BusinessWeek, and TIME Asia. She has appeared on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox, and CNBC, addressing the culture and business of technology. But, it was her deeper impulse to get to the heart of things and her love of storytelling that really drew me to he

  • Valarie Kaur | A Revolutionary Love

    13/09/2021 Duration: 01h05min

    Valarie Kaur is an activist, documentary filmmaker, lawyer, educator, and faith leader. She rose to global acclaim in late 2016 when her Watch Night Service address asked the question, “Is this the darkness of the tomb – or the darkness of the womb?” The video went viral with 40 million views worldwide, and her question reframed the political moment and became a mantra for people fighting for change. The daughter of farmers in California’s heartland brought up in the Sikh Faith, Valarie earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School. But, it was 9-11 that launched her down the now two-decades-long path of activism and advocacy, when those in her family and community became the targets of hatred and violence.Over the last two decades, Valarie’s work has led to policy change in everything from hate crimes, racial profiling, and immigration detention, to solitary confinement, Internet freedom, and more. She founded Groundswell Movement, Faithful Internet, and the Yale Visual

  • Justin Baldoni | Reimagining Work, Love & Masculinity

    09/09/2021 Duration: 53min

    After years in the entertainment world, Justin Baldoni, found that classic breakout moment as an actor in the role of Rafael Solano on the hit show Jane the Virgin. But, underneath what seemed to be an extraordinary mainstream success, a certain discontent and vision of what the industry and life could be was brewing. In no small part, fueled by a deep devotion to his Baháʼí Faith, which stresses unity, universal dignity and the elimination of barriers to oneness. He began to question everything from the way stories were told to the fundamental underpinning of the entertainment machine, and even his own place in it. That led him into a deeper exploration of identity, relationships, and eventually to questioning of modern concepts of masculinity, which led him to write his first book, Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity.It also led Justin to reimagine how he would create this next season of work and life. He co-founded Wayfarer Studios, an independent financial and production engine pioneering purpose-driven

  • Kate Johnson | Radical Friendship

    07/09/2021 Duration: 58min

    Friends make life better. We’ve all experienced that. But, could a very specific kind of friendship - Radical Friendship - lead not only to lasting bonds, love and joy, but also to systemic social change, liberation, and equality? That’s what we’re talking about today. Weaving in Buddhism, Western spiritual culture, dance, and social justice with my guest, Kate Johnson. Kate teaches classes and retreats integrating Buddhist meditation, somatics, social justice, and creativity at leading meditation centers, universities and cultural institutions around the country. She also works as a culture change consultant, partnering with organizations to help them achieve greater diversity and sustainability. She's a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's four-year teacher training and she has also earned a BFA in Dance from The Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU.Her moving new book, Radical Friendship, makes a case for friendship - grounded in Buddha’s teaching - as a ra

  • Rev. angel Kyodo williams | A Path to Collective Liberation

    02/09/2021 Duration: 01h02min

    Rev. angel Kyodo williams has been bridging the worlds of liberation, love, and justice her entire adult life. Her critically acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, and "a classic" by Buddhist pioneer Jack Kornfield. And, her book, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love & Liberation, has been inviting communities to have the grounded, real, hard conversations necessary to become more awake and aware of what hinders liberation of self and society. Known for her willingness to sit with and speak uncomfortable truths with love. Rev. angel notes, "Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” And right now, we are in a moment where we need change, on every level, personal, interpersonal, cultural, and societal. Rev. angel was my guest on the show a number of years ago, and that led to a friendship that has been a true g

  • Jameela Jamil | On Adversity, Celebrity and Activism [BEST OF]

    30/08/2021 Duration: 58min

    My guest today, Jameela Jamil, was a household name in the UK for years. Hosting shows on T4 and BBC Radio 1 before launching into the spotlight in the US, playing Tahani on the acclaimed TV show, The Good Place, and then hosting TBS late-night game show That Misery Index judging voguing reality competition show Legendary. And along the way, she has been incredibly intentional about leveraging her notoriety for social good launching the advocacy platform I Weigh and the podcast of the same name and she's on a quest to really bring together and amplify the voices of change-makers and promote equity and dignity. And for her, it's also personal. Growing up the daughter of Indian and Pakistani parents, she was often bullied, an experience made tougher after being diagnosed with a condition that affects her body's connective tissue and often causes chronic pain. And through her teens, she endured even more trauma. Became anorexic, and then at a car accident that caused a spinal injury that would profoundly change

  • Tara Brach | Wisdom For Anxious Times [BEST OF]

    26/08/2021 Duration: 01h04min

    My guest today, Tara Brach, has been one of my teachers for years, though she never knew it. Back in the early days of podcasting, I stumbled upon her weekly dharma talks or Buddhist teachings and meditations that she’d offer at her Insight Meditation Center in DC, record, then air as podcasts, and the blend of her gentle presence, her deep wisdom that was clearly not just studied, but also lived, her humility, real-world sensibility, and humor drew me in. Tara’s teachings blend Western psychology, she’s also a clinical psychologist, along with Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. The result is a distinctive voice in Western Buddhism, one that offers a wise and caring approach to freeing ourselves and society from suffering.She is kindness and insight embodied, and I’ve learned so much from both her offerings and also the way she seems to move through life over the years. Which is why I was so excited to be able to spend some ti

  • Julia Galef | How to Stop Deluding Ourselves

    23/08/2021 Duration: 01h08min

    We tend to think we’re smart, rational beings, making good choices based on clear information. In truth, we’re anything but. We are pretty much walking, talking bundles of delusion and bias, much of it utterly hidden from our consciousness, by no one other than our subconscious. How do we get past this, how do we learn to see more clearly, not just what’s going on around us, but also within us? To help answer this question, today I’m sitting down with Julia Galef, author, podcaster, and speaker with a passion for good reasoning, and host of Rationally Speaking, a biweekly podcast featuring interviews with scientists and other thinkers, about everything from “Should the United States have open borders?” to “Has scientific progress slowed down?” to “What have you changed your mind about?” She’s also the author of an eye-opening new book, The Scout Mindset, which is a deep dive into the learnable skill of looking at things honestly and objectively — why that’s so valuable, why it doesn’t come naturally to humans

  • Katy Milkman | How to Change

    19/08/2021 Duration: 01h03min

    Ever want to change something that really matters to you, but struggle to make it stick, let alone wonder how to ever get started? You’re not alone. There is so much misinformation in the world of behavior change, which is why I wanted to sit down with Katy Milkman to see if we could all get closer to the truth. And, find out, once and for all, what really works, and what’s just distraction. Katy is an award-winning behavioral scientist and a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She hosts Charles Schwab’s popular behavioral economics podcast Choiceology, and is the co-founder and co-director of The Behavior Change for Good Initiative, a research center with the mission of advancing the science of lasting behavior change whose work is being chronicled by Freakonomics Radio. She has worked with or advised dozens of organizations on how to spur positive change, including Google, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Red Cross, 24 Hour Fitness, Walmart and Morningstar. He

  • James Victore | How to Have a Point of View [BEST OF]

    16/08/2021 Duration: 01h02min

    When James Victore was told by a professor, in his design program during college, that he wasn’t cut out for the famed institution he’d been attending, instead of arguing, he left. Then, promptly launched and built his own successful design consultancy. Years later, an accomplished illustrator, designer, and provocateur of the status quo, he returned to that very school, but this team, to teach is own perpetually-packed class. James has been described as part Darth Vader, part Yoda, prolific storyteller, designer, provocateur, artist, activist and teacher. A designer and creative thought leader who people look to find clarity and purpose in their life and work. He’s widely known for his impassioned views about design and its place in the world. At the helm of his independently run design studio, James makes work that takes a strong position and often toes the line between sacred and the profane. And, the world has taken notice. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in the p

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