The Rich Roll Podcast Episode: How Charlie Jabaley Lost 120lbs & Overcame a Brain Tumor To Become An Athlete
By: Unleash Your Best Self | Rich Roll | Bestselling Author, Ultra-Endurance Athlete & Wellness Evangelist
“I knew I had to change everything in my life if I wanted to live.” Charlie Jabaley He dreamed of being a professional athlete. But Charlie Jabaley was always the fat kid, picked last for kickball. No matter what, he just couldn’t stop gaining weight. Resigned to this fate, he abandoned his athletic dream early. Throwing himself into business instead, it wasn’t long before CEO Charlie was born — an alter ego he created at age 13 that would soon become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By his mid-twenties, Charlie had overcome tremendous odds to achieve extraordinary success in the music business, collecting Grammys and counting Benjamins managing a stable of major hip-hop recording artists like 2 Chainz. The very model of the modern millennial entrepreneur, Charlie’s path provided the high gloss lifestyle of his wildest imagination — a world apart from his humble beginnings. What it didn’t provide? Health, happiness, or an authentic sense of wholeness. On the outside, Charlie was crushing it. On the inside, he was dying. A life-long junk food addict, he had swelled to over 300 pounds by the age of 29. But he wasn’t just morbidly obese. And he wasn’t just chronically depressed. Charlie Jabaley was lost. His health in rapid decline, he tried countless diets, but always gained the weight right back — plus a little extra. He tried running. He even ran three marathons. Ironically, Charlie nonetheless continued to pack the pounds on, rewarding his training sessions with shame-inducing binges. Out of control, Charlie’s waistline only expanded in lockstep with each successive 26.2 effort. Deep down, Charlie knew he would forever remain a prisoner to his seemingly hopeless food addiction until he could summon the courage to face the emotional dysfunction, mental imbalance and spiritual malaise that had been driving his unhealthy lifestyle choices for as long as he could remember. The inside job terrified Charlie. But it’s always darkest before the dawn. At the nadir of his hopelessness, Charlie awoke one day to find his bedroom spinning before suddenly collapsing to the floor. A visit to the doctor only brought more bad news. Charlie Jabaley has a brain tumor. But rather than treat his diagnosis as tragic, Charlie decided to embrace it as a gift — the push he needed to once and for all to face himself honestly, take willing inventory of his life, and finally undertake the measures necessary to save himself from himself. Charlie Jabaley only had to change one thing — everything. One year ago, he walked away from the company he started, leaving millions of dollars on the table to decamp Atlanta for Los Angeles. Completely restructuring his relationship with food, he’s lost over 120 pounds and kept it off. Without medication, his tumor has shrunk to almost nothing. And Charlie has finally achieved his lifelong dream, transforming himself from executive (CEO Charlie) to athlete (Charlie Rocket), training for his first Ironman in New Zealand this March. For the first time in his life, he’s both healthy and happy. But mostly, Charlie Jabaley is free. What he did, how he did it and why is the subject of today’s conversation. It’s a powerful exchange with an everyman hero who wants you to know that you do not struggle alone. That it’s never too late to change. And no matter how far you have drifted from the person you aspire to be, there is both hope and help. Welcome to 2018 people. This is the new normal. Peace + Plants, P.S. The video version of the podcast is also available on YouTube.
“Getting out is the first step.” Catra Corbett If Ross Edgley is a real-life Aquaman, I nominate ultrarunner extraordinaire Catra Corbett as a real-life Wonder Woman. Definitely one of the planet’s most colorful athletes, Catra’s polychromatic goth-punk aesthetic is a perfect superhero costume match for her sparkling personality. Rocking wild rainbow hair, brightly colored running costumes and tattooed head-to-toe, you can spot the Dirt Diva’s smile from a mile out, happily tearing up the trails with her trusty side-kick training partner TruMan — a goggle-adorned mini dachshund. TruMan’s superpower? He loves running as much as she does. Yes, it’s all a bit nutty. But don’t be deceived — Catra is an absolute beast of an athlete. Over the course of her storied career she has competed in over 250 ultramarathons and is the first American woman to run over 100 miles or more on more than 100 occasions (137 to date). You might recall Catra from the book Born to Run as the “kaleidoscopically tattooed” woman who ran the 212-mile John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. When she reached the end, she didn’t stop. Instead, she turned around and ran back — a 425-mile effort for which she holds the fastest known time (FKT), completing it in just over twelve days. Not enough? Catra also holds the FKT for the Muir Ramble – clocking 324 miles in just 7 days. Oh yeah, she also ran 144 trail miles around Lake Tahoe in 43 hours on just 50 minutes of sleep. Most recently, at age 53, Catra completed three back-to-back 200-mile races to become the oldest woman to win the triple crown of 200’s (Bigfoot 200, Tahoe 200 & Moab 240). It’s an astounding feat she completed in just 10 weeks. A mere eleven days later she celebrated her accomplishment by running another 100 miles at the Javelina Jundred — dressed as the The Mad Hatter. Vintage Dirt Diva. To top it off, she’s a vegan — a lifestyle she adopted 15 years ago to which she attributes her high performance prowess, race consistency and longevity. Catra’s resume speaks for itself. But most impressive are the obstacles she has faced and overcome to become the shining example of humanity and athleticism she is today. Twenty-four years ago, Catra was lost in a hopeless spiral of meth addiction, disordered eating, and sexual and emotional abuse. Ultimately busted for peddling crystal, she hits rock bottom in a jail cell that scares her straight. Upon release she commits to getting sober, moves back home with her mother, abandons her lower companions, her boyfriend, and the dark lifestyle that she came to depend on. Her only clean friend pushes her to train for a 10K with him, and surprisingly, she likes it – and decides to run her first marathon after that. Sobriety saved her life. Running gave her a new one altogether. Along the way she attempts suicide, loses loved ones, falls in love, has her heartbroken, meets lifelong friends and finally faces the past that led to her addiction — all of which is beautifully chronicled in her memoir, Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons. I sat down with Catra to learn the how and why behind her incredible journey from meth-addicted cosmetologist to world class, vegan ultrarunning phenom. We cover her goth netherworld days and how she transformed her life in recovery. We track her accomplishments and what compels her insatiable drive to push herself well into her 50’s. And we talk about how and why she does it all vegan. I love this woman, her positive attitude and her infectious zest for life — a hero of sober possibility and the pow...
“You find the most honest version of yourself in complete exhaustion.“ Ross Edgley To be certain, we face great challenges — global climate change, political divisiveness, mass shootings, social & economic disparity, chronic disease, addiction, racism, misogyny – the list goes on. It’s easy to fall into despair. And yet there is hope. Because heroes walk among us. Look closely and you will find no shortage of unsung angels diligently working anonymously behind the scenes to solve our collective crises. And literal superheroes who remind us that the human spirit knows no boundaries. I’ve had the good fortune to host more than a few such specimens on this podcast – people like Alex Honnold. James Lawrence who completed 50 ironmans in 50 states in 50 days. And Colin O’Brady, who, as we speak, is attempting to be the first person to cross Antarctica unaided. And then, there’s Ross Edgley – a gentle, beautiful beast of a man who recently became the very person to swim the entire circumference of Great Britain without once stepping on land. It’s a journey that took him 1,792 miles over 157 days, eclipsing several world records in the process – including the world’s longest staged sea swim. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the real Aquaman. And yet this just the latest feat for Ross, a UK-based strongman and adventure athlete of otherworldly grit and determination whose insane feats of strength and endurance include: * climbing the height of Everest on a rope in one sitting; * completing a marathon while dragging a Mini Cooper behind him; * completing a triathlon with a 100 pound tree on his back; and * swimming 100km in the Caribbean whilst pulling a 100 pound log behind him – which he completed in just 32 hours. Ross has chronicled his adventures as a fitness expert for magazines like Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, GQ, The Daily Telegraph and Men’s Fitness and is a Sunday Times Bestselling Author of the aptly titled, The World’s Fittest Book. I have both followed and admired Ross for many years. The Universe finally conspired to bring us together. And this conversation is everything I hoped it would be. Today we focus on the lessons Ross learned during his 5-month swim-circumnavigation of Great Britain. We explore the importance of purpose. Why you must succinctly understand what drives you — because if you cant explain what you’re preparing for in one sentence, it’s not clear enough. We talk about what it means to build work capacity. How to make peace with pain. And why strength and endurance need not be mutually exclusive pursuits. Ross’ achievements are an exploration of the outer limits of fortitude. We tap that well through the prism of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to better understand how mere survival can catalyze new horizons of human possibility. And we discuss Ross’ ongoing guinea pig ‘n of 1” experiment in human adaptability – the incredible ability he believes we all have to develop superhuman durability and it’s applicability beyond sport to literally anything. But more than anything, I wanted to know what compels this modern day Jack LaLane / Aquaman — and what it all means. Final note: this conversation took place in the midst of the Woolsey Fire a few weeks back. We were evacuated from my home and studio on the interview date thus we were not able to capture this conversation on video. Given the chaos, I’m just happy we could make it work at all. Special thanks to my friends Matthew Wilder and Tamara Dunn for allowing us use of their studio in Venice. I love this guy. It’s not just Ross’s astounding feats that drew me to his story. It’s how he comports himself that impresses me the most. So please enjoy the wisdom,
“If you’re going to make a film, it should be about something that is incredibly meaningful to you.“ Chai Vasarhelyi If you enjoyed my conversations with adventure athletes Alex Honnold (RRP 351), Conrad Anker (RRP 170), Hilaree Nelson (RRP 364) and Colin O’Brady (RRP 207 & 235), then you are going to flip for today’s episode with Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin — the dynamic and talented filmmaking duo behind the stunning new documentary Free Solo — a beautiful cinematic celebration of human possibility. A graduate of Princeton University hailing from New York City, Chai is an award-winning film director and producer with Hungarian, Chinese, and Brazilian roots who cut her filmmaking teeth under the legendary Mike Nichols. Her first film, A Normal Life, won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003. Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, was released in theaters in the US and internationally. The film won numerous awards, including the Special Jury Prize at the Middle East International Film Festival in 2008 and a nomination for the Pare Lorentz Award at the 2009 International Documentary Association Awards. An award-winning cinematographer and director in his own right, Chai’s husband and creative partner Jimmy is also a professional climber, skier, mountaineer, 18-year member of The North Face Athlete Team and National Geographic Explorer. Over the past 20 years, he has led or participated in cutting-edge climbing and ski mountaineering expeditions to all seven continents and made the first and only American ski descent from the summit of Mount Everest. Known for his ability to capture the authentic in some of the world’s most high-risk environments, Jimmy has worked with many of the greatest explorers, adventurers and athletes of our time, documenting their exploits in the most challenging conditions and locations in the world. He has garnered numerous awards shooting on assignment for publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair and Outside Magazine, and has directed commercial work for a wide range of clients, including Apple, Chase, Pirelli and The North Face. Jimmy’s technical acumen matched with Chai’s storytelling superpowers have created two of the most compelling documentary masterpieces in recent memory. The highest grossing independent documentary of 2015, Meru won the Sundance Audience Award, made the Oscars shortlist and was lauded by Variety as one of the best sports documentaries of its type in recent memory. Their latest collaboration, and the primary focus of today’s conversation, is Free Solo – a riveting, intimate, unflinching, edge-of-your-seat, sweaty-palm-inducing thrill ride portrait of Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: a death defying quest to free solo the world’s most famous rock – the 3,200 face of El Capitan in Yosemite — without a rope. It’s an accomplishment the NYT called “one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind ever.” I concur — and cannot recommend this masterful film more highly. But there is so much more to Jimmy and Chai’s collabo...
“We are so successful at being comfortable that comfort is becoming the enemy of success.” Wim Hof Today we dive into the deep end of higher consciousness. We challenge the limits of human potential. And we explore the power of the mind to unlock superhuman capabilities. Our instrument for this week’s fantastic voyage is Wim Hof — aka The Iceman. Dropping in for his second podcast appearance — his first being RRP 231 from June 2016 — Wim is a Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and human guinea pig best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold. More significant is Wim’s experimentation with specific and teachable breathing techniques. Rooted in the ancient yogic tradition of pranayama and canonized for a modern audience as The Wim Hof Method, Wim asserts that through such breath techniques he can turn up his internal thermostat and activate his sympathetic nervous system — abilities conventionally believed beyond conscious control. Understanding the far-fetched nature of his claims, Wim put his contentions to the test. Among his twenty world-record setting feats of otherworldly insanity, Wim has: * scaled above death zone altitude (22,000 ft) on Mount Everest shirtless adorned in nothing but shorts; * completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland barefoot and again shirtless and in shorts; * summited Kilimanjaro in less than 2 days, again in nothing but shorts; * swam a world record 66 meters under a meter of ice above the polar circle; * sat in an ice bath for almost two hours straight; * ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water; and * remained asymptomatic after a poisonous E. coli endotoxin injection certain to make any human being very ill All of this is seemingly insane. But Wim declares his feats not only replicable but entirely teachable — a curriculum that holds the potential to unlock a battery of human superpowers that extend well beyond extreme temperature tolerance to metabolic ‘reptilian brain’ functions previously thought beyond conscious manipulation. Picking up where we left off in RRP 231, this conversation focuses less on Wim’s feats of incredulity and more on the nature of consciousness and the primacy of its elevation. We discuss our current crisis of awareness. The importance of challenging long-held, status quo beliefs. And the warrior’s path required to live fully actualized. Wild, calm, powerful and gentle all at the same time, Wim is undoubtedly one of the most compelling and unique people I have ever met — a man who will shock you out of your comfort zone and call into question the countless unnecessary limits we impose upon ourselves daily. This journey begins with the breath. It extends to service, compassion, and gratitude. And it culminates in love. Disclaimer: Never practice breathing exercises before/during any activities where a loss of consciousness may prove life threatening. The breathing methods discussed may have a profound effect and should be practiced exactly as explained and always in a safe environment. Wim strongly advises you to gradually build up your exposure to the cold. Always train without force and listen to your body carefully. If not practiced responsibly, you risk hypothermia or worse. And finally, always consult your doctor first before beginning any exercise program. Online Course Discount: Wim was kind enough to offer my listeners 35% off his 10-week online course when you enter the code Rich35 at checkout before December 2,
“It’s hard to beat the person that won’t quit.” Lindsey Vonn What’s it like to be the very best in the world at something? Today I explore this question and so much more with a woman who truly needs no introduction. Not only is Lindsey Vonn the most decorated female skier in history, she’s the most decorated skier period – man or woman – in US history. One of the few world-class, four-event ski racers, Lindsey is a 4-time Olympian, a 3-time Olympic medalist, the only American woman to win downhill gold, and the only American woman with 4 World Cup titles. All told, she has 82 World Cup wins in her career, the most of any female skier in history. Only 4 World Cup wins now separate Lindsey from the record set by Ingemar Stenmark in 1989. Eclipsing this once thought untouchable achievement is the final goal propelling Lindsey into her final professional season. Off the slopes, Lindsey is a media mogul. A regular on “Most Marketable” athlete lists, she has been profiled in every major media outlet across the globe and graced the cover of publications such as Fitness, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, TV Guide and many others. Not enough? Lindsey sank a hole-in-one during one of her very first full 18 holes of golf. So there’s that. Lindsey’s victories are self-evident. Less appreciated are the countless obstacles she has faced and overcome over the course of her legendary career. From potentially career-ending injuries to debilitating bouts with depression to weathering the haters and naysayers, Lindsey’s trajectory skyward has been neither linear nor charmed. In point of fact, she has tenaciously fought for all everything she has achieved – falling and failing often. Her motto? When you fall, get right back up. And never, ever quit. It’s Lindsay’s fearlessness and relentless persistence that most impresses — qualities I explore as the focus of today’s conversation. So what drives this champion? And what can we learn from her mindset, process and experience? Listen, learn and enjoy. Note: the podcast is now available on Spotify and our conversation is viewable in full on YouTube at bit.ly/lindseyvonn405 Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Calm: The #1 App for Meditation and Sleep with 100+ guided meditations covering anxiety, focus, stress, sleep, relationships and more. Plus 7-day and 21-day programs for both beginner and advanced users. For a limited time, my listeners can get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/richroll. It includes unlimited access to ALL of Calm’s amazing content. Get started today! Peloton – Discover this cutting-edge indoor cycling bike that brings the studio experience to your home. Get a great workout at home, anytime you want.
“Be kind to yourself, to other people, animals and the Earth.“ Jason Flom Today I sit down with music industry titan Jason Flom for a deep dive into what currently ails our criminal justice system, and how to fix it. The current CEO of LAVA Records, Jason’s much storied career features stints as Chairman and CEO at Atlantic Records, Virgin Records and Capitol Music Group. He is personally responsible for launching a litany of massive acts, including Kid Rock, Katy Perry, Lorde, and most recently Greta Van Fleet. The New Yorker described him as “one of the most successful record men of the past 20 years…known for his specialty in delivering ‘monsters.” Jason’s accomplishments in the recording industry are extraordinary. But it’s his commitment to criminal justice justice reform that compelled this conversation. A founding board member of The Innocence Project as well as a board member of several advocacy organizations devoted to drug reform, prison education and ant-recidivism, Jason is a leading civilian expert on clemency with a talent for procuring exonerations for those wrongfully convicted. A sought-after public speaker on such matters, Jason also hosts the Wrongful Conviction podcast, which features mesmerizing interviews with men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit. A means of exposing what ails our current justice system and prison industrial complex, his goal is to promote alternatives to mass incarceration and offer ideas on how to reduce the indecencies of wrongful convictions. Although I have followed Jason’s work for years, I had never met nor heard him speak until our paths crossed at The Nantucket Project a few months back. At the conclusion of his riveting, standing-room-only presentation alongside Amanda Knox — the exchange student who spent almost 4 years in an Italian prison following a murder conviction Jason played a part in having overturned — there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I knew immediately I wanted to share his story and work with all of you. Today is that day. This is a compelling exchange about what ails our criminal justice system and how to fix it. It’s about systemic inequities and the recurring issue of false confessions — why so many innocent people plead guilty. We discuss the impact of DNA testing technology, overcoming prosecutorial malfeasance, and how unaffordable bail exacerbates social inequality. But mostly, this is a conversation about how misaligned incentives often produce unjust results and why Jason is so committed to giving a voice to those wrongfully incarcerated. But I couldn’t let him go without a peek into his legendary music career. Stories from the frontlines, he recounts how he discovered Lorde, the current state of rock and roll, and his new venture, aptly titled, The Church of Rock and Roll. My hope is that this conversation will provoke a deeper sense of empathy for those that suffer. Motivate you to investigate these issues more thoroughly. And inspire you to get involved in forging solutions. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | a href="http://bit.
“There’s no more nutrient dense way to eat than a plant-based diet.” Josh LaJaunie I have never met a more inspirational everyman example of healthy, transformative living than Josh LaJaunie. After 400+ episodes of the podcast, our initial conversation way back in December of 2013 (RRP 63) remains one of my favorite and most popular episodes in the history of the show, followed closely by our second conversation in June 2015 (RRP 152). There’s a reason for that. Sure, Josh lost 200+ pounds. He overcame tremendous obstacles to restore and maintain his health. He reinvented himself as athlete, crushing marathons, winning an ultra and even gracing the cover of Runner’s World magazine. You might have seen Josh on The Today Show. Perhaps you caught him on Good Morning America. Certainly, Josh’s personal triumphs are worthy of celebrating. But I’m emphatic it’s his giant heart that captured the the media’s eye. 100% genuine and utterly authentic, it’s Josh’s love and devotion to returning the gift in service of his friends, family, community and strangers that sets him apart — and makes me prouder than you can imagine to call him friend. Good things happen to good people who do good for others. For those new to the show, Josh’s story — as laid out in his self-described manifesto — begins in marshy southern Louisiana. A self-avowed “swamp dweller” from Bayou Lafourche, he was a big kid surrounded by an even bigger loving family, united by their shared adoration of food. Despite being recruited to play college football, college life left him so disillusioned, he dropped out, returning home aimless and unmoored. He found work in the family construction business, but like so many, started living for the weekend: partying, hunting, fishing, cheering for his beloved New Orleans Saints, and feasting on his favorite local delicacies — po boys, jambalaya & barbecue. Lots of barbecue. It’s just what you do down in Bayou Lafourche. It wasn’t long before Josh tipped 400+ on the scale. Outwardly he seemed fine with it. But deep down he was dying — his despair, embarrassment and shame escalating in lockstep with his declining self-esteem and overall well being. Then something happened. In 2010, Josh’s beloved Saints achieved the impossible, winning the Super Bowl. It seems a small thing. But to Josh it was everything. Forever altering his perception of what is possible, he began to question the limits he imposed upon himself. Empowered, he began to “let go of his normal” and dismiss the embedded “that’s just the way it is down here” mentality he was starting to understand often taints the logic of his region. A chain reaction of events ensued that set Josh on a path that literally changed everything. He adopted a 100% plant-based diet. He resumed a long, slow return to fitness. He committed to a top-to-bottom mindset shift. It wasn’t overnight, but today he has multiple marathons under his belt. An ultramarathon victory. And a plan to scale the principles that saved his life to save others via his Missing Chins secret Facebook group and newly-hatched WellStart wellness start-up. The best part? It’s just the beginning. Picking up where we last left off, this is Josh’s story. It’s a tale about what can be accomplished when self-ca...
“Raising crops to feed animals so we can eat animals is vastly inefficient.” Bruce Friedrich 7.5 billion people currently share this spinning blue planet we call Earth. By 2050, that number will escalate to 9.7 billion. By 2100? 11 billion. How can we possibly feed 11 billion people sustainably? To answer that question we must turn our gaze to the industrialization of animal agriculture. On the surface, what we commonly call factory farming appears incredibly efficient, creating massive economies of scale to feed the maximum number of people possible. But in actuality, this industry is inexcusably inefficient and unsustainable long-term. It requires untold amounts of land, water and feed. It contributes more greenhouse gas emissions that the entire transportation combined. It’s depleting our soil. It’s polluting our water table. It’s acidifying our oceans. It’s making us sick. And it’s driving the greatest mass species extinction in the history of mankind. In fact, 60% of all animal species have been rendered extinct in just the last 50 years. We can’t continue down this path. We desperately need a better way. So let’s talk about it. This week I sit down for a second conversation with Bruce Friedrich, a leading innovator in food systems and policy. Bruce is the executive director of The Good Food Institute and founding partner of New Crop Capital, organizations focused on replacing animal products with plant and culture-based alternatives. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law and Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College, holds additional degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics and was inducted into the United States Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2004. A popular speaker on college campuses — including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT — Bruce has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and Court TV. Picking up where we left off in April 2017 (RRP 286), Bruce brings us up to speed on the rapidly evolving frontier of food technology and plant-based innovation, including a fascinating deep dive into the cutting edge of clean meat and the revolutionary science that is making possible the production of animal foods by way of cultured cells harvested without slaughter. This is a conversation about the politics of agriculture and the subsidies, corporations, representatives and lobbyists that support it. Bust mostly, this is about current advances designed to improve food systems in the interest of human, animal and planetary well-being. Humanity currently faces an unprecedented, seemingly insurmountable environmental crisis. But Bruce casts an optimistic forecast — how technology, urgency and popular demand are rapidly converging to create healthy, sustainable and compassionate solutions to help solve our current food, health and environmental dilemmas. Chock-a-block with incredible information, this exchange will leave you not only better informed on the aforementioned subjects, but inspired to invest more deeply in where your food comes from, how it impacts the precious world we share and how together we can forge the future of food for ourselves and generations to come. Incredibly intelligent, considerate and measured, it was an honor to sit down with Bruce. I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe a href="http://bit.
“True behavior change is really identity change.” James Clear What stands in the way of becoming the person you aspire to be? Maybe it’s circumstances. Access or opportunity. For many its bad habits, exacerbated by the unsuccessful war waged to replace them with good habits — a rinse and repeat process that generally leads to failure and discouragement. Why is it so hard to overcome negative patterns? Today’s guest contends the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Evolving from stuck and unsatisfied into the person you wish to become is equal parts art and science. Science helps explain the root causes of our behaviors and how to modify them. But the application of said principles into practice is very much an art. Today we explore the often misunderstood terrain of behavior change with author James Clear, a man who has spent the better part of his career attempting to understand and master the art and science of human habit formation and decision-making, A regular speaker at Fortune 500 companies, James’ work is used by teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on CBS This Morning. His website jamesclear.com receives millions of visitors each month. Hundreds of thousands subscribe to his popular e-mail newsletter. And over 10,000 leaders, managers, coaches, and teachers have built better habits in life and work via his Habits Academy online program. James recently penned Atomic Habits, a New York Times bestselling deep dive into evidence-based self-improvement. A comprehensive primer on what actually works when it comes to behavior change, it zeroes in on the transformative power of making small changes. Packed with implementable takeaways (including many strategies I have myself employed with great success), it’s a must read for anyone looking to take their life to the next level. This is a highly practical conversation that explores the psychology and neuroscience behind behavior change. Specific topics include the problem with goals. We discuss the relationship between overly ambitious goals and failure — why most people make the mistake of optimizing for the finish line when we should instead focus on getting to the starting line. James explains why establishing systems are critical; and why focus should be placed on practice over performance. We also cover why it’s important to move beyond temporal, emotional drivers like motivation into practical action. Why you’re more likely to act yourself into feeling rather than feel yourself into action. Or, as I like to say, mood follows action. My biggest takeaway from this exchange is James’ compelling dissertation on why we are best served by concentrating on identity. In other words, long-term results are best derived not from achieving the goals we set for ourselves, but instead by slowly adopting and inhabiting the daily practices and characteristics of the person we aspire to become. Powerful and potentially game-changing, this conversation will reframe how you contemplate and act upon your ambitions. So break out the pen and paper and please enjoy Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe a title="iTunes RRP" href="http://bit.
“If we don’t allow ourselves to be imperfect we will never get good.” Guru Singh Welcome to another edition Guru Corner — a spiritual version of my popular Coach’s Corner series featuring my favorite teacher on all things mystic and metaphysical, Guru Singh. Fusing Eastern mysticism with Western pragmatism, Guru Singh is a celebrated third-generation Sikh yogi and master spiritual teacher who has been studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than 40 years. He is the author of several books, a powerful lecturer and behind-the-scenes guide to many a luminary, including Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes, and artists. A peer of rock legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, Guru Singh is also a supremely talented musician who began his recording career on Warner Bros’ Reprise label in the 1960s. When he isn’t recording tracks with people like Seal, he’s bringing down the house on the daily at Yoga West, his Los Angeles home base. Over the last couple years, I have grown quite close with Guru Singh, a beautiful and highly relatable consciousness I’m proud to call friend, family and mentor. It’s a privilege to share more of his powerful wisdom with you today. A companion piece to my recent podcast with author and parenting expert KJ Dell’Antonia (RRP #396), today’s conversation is an intimate exploration into the art of parenting through the lens of child rearing as spiritual practice. We discuss the challenges of raising a generation required to face problems created preceding generations. We pit the perils of social media against the importance of digital fluency. We explore the importance of cultivating a healthy sense of self amidst the chaos of family life; how to reframe failure as opportunity; and the importance of balancing discipline while encouraging daydreaming. Communication is paramount, so we dissect strategies for keeping it open and honest. None of us parent perfectly. But the way forward is to better master ourselves, our actions and reactions. My hope is that this exchange will empower you with some tools to do just that. Like my conversation with KJ, there is plenty of wisdom here for everyone, irrespective of your child rearing status. So even if you don’t have children and never plan to, I encourage you to listen or watch with an open mind. Note: If you missed our initial conversations, start with episode 267 and then enjoy episodes 332, 368 and 393. Final Note: The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube HERE (just make sure to subscribe!) Let the master class resume. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
“Charity means love. It means to look after your neighbor in need and get nothing in return.” Scott Harrison From the outside looking in, he was living the dream. Killer SoHo loft. Private jets to exotic locales. Rolex, cover model girlfriend and cash. Lots of cash. But ten years living extravagantly as a decadent nightclub promoter in New York City took it’s toll. By 28, Scott Harrison had become the worst person he knew. Morally bankrupt and desperate to rediscover his sense of purpose, Scott decided it was time for a drastic change. So he sold all his belongings and decamped NYC for a year spent volunteering aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa. Abroad, Harrison witnessed levels of poverty and illness he never knew existed. As one year turned into two, he came to understand that many of the diseases their group treated were waterborne, easily preventable with access to clean drinking water — a basic need sorely lacking across vast swaths of the undeveloped world. Upon returning to New York in 2006, Scott turned his full attention to the global water crisis and the (then) 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water. The manifestation of that commitment is charity: water — a revolutionary for-purpose endeavor that to date has raised over $3000 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 8.4 million people all across the world. Equally impressive is the extent to which Scott has quite literally reinvented and re-energized how we give and how we think about giving. He did it by creating an aspirational brand. He did it by restoring public trust in charity. And he did it by leveraging technology to deeply connect each and every giver with the gift’s specific result and impact. Simply put, Scott Harrison is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. His inspiring story from lost to found is legend — an astounding example of what can be achieved when a life pivots from self-serving to selfless service. Scott’s story can be found in his riveting new memoir, Thirst, which vividly recounts Scott’s redemptive tale of transformation and the twists and turns that built charity: water into one of the most trusted, disruptive, innovative and admired nonprofits in the world. Debuting at #7 on last week’s NY Times bestseller list, it’s a must read page-tuner, the profits of which funnel right back to (you guessed it) charity: water.** Picking up where left off in Scott’s first appearance on the podcast (episode 305 from July 2017), today we dive deeper into previously unexplored aspects of Scott’s personal evolution. We discuss progress made by his organization and the work that remains. We discuss the important role faith has played in his journey. He explains the true meaning of charity — and the sense of purpose and personal fulfillment that goes hand in hand with service. We end with a call to action. And a reminder that we all possess the power to make the world a better place. Because nobody should fear work that has no end. Here’s my call to action: in celebration of my 52nd birthday, help me raise $100,000 by December 31, 2018 — 100% of which will be deployed to bring clean water projects to over 3,300 people for the very first time. Projects that will save lives for generations to come. Specifically, I’m asking that you donate $1 for every year that I have been drinking clean water – a pledge of $52 ...
“You can have everything. But if how you see everything is wrong, you have nothing.” Sacha Gervasi Today I sit down with actor Jamie Dornan and filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, a man I love dearly and have known for over 20 years, to discuss their recent collaboration — My Dinner With Hervé, a brilliant new film premiering October 20 on HBO. Marking his 2nd appearance on the show (his first being episode 249 two years ago), Sacha’s credits include scripting The Terminal, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. In 2012, Sacha directed Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and last year helmed November Criminals featuring Ansel Elgort and Chloë Grace Moretz. But Sacha is perhaps best known for Anvil! The Story of Anvil, his Emmy and Independent Spirit Award winning, real-life Spinal Tap rockumentary about an also-ran Canadian heavy metal band that many critics consider one of the greatest films ever made about rock and roll. Anvil explored what it means to never give up on a dream. Hervé picks up where Anvil leaves off, exploring the darker aspects of lofty dreams realized in a tragic comedy that lays bare the power of unchecked ego, addiction, and unhealed childhood trauma in fueling self-destruction. A look at the wild life of French actor Hervé Villechaize, who famously played Tattoo in the hit ’70s TV series Fantasy Island, the film is based upon one insane night Sacha spent with Hervé (played by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) just one week before Hervé’s suicide, and the emergence of an unlikely friendship that permanently alters both of their lives. His very first script, it’s a movie Sacha began writing over 20 years ago. Both hilarious and sad, beautiful and surprisingly emotional, Hervé is hands down Sacha’s best work to date. Peter Dinklage is a tour de force. And Jamie Dornan — as Danny Tate, a journalist loosely based on Sacha — delivers in an elegantly nuanced, powerful performance that will leave you with a new appreciation for this actor’s depth and talent. Jamie is of course most recognized for his portrayal as Christian Grey from the 50 Shades of Grey movies. But if that’s all you know about this young man, you’re in for a delightful surprise. I first came across Jamie’s work several years ago by way of The Fall, a dark psychological thriller series co-starring Gillian Anderson, and was immediately struck by his keen ability to evoke pathos and empathy for a seemingly irredeemable character. But Hervé is a game changer for Jamie — a role I’m certain will leave unsuspecting audiences with a new and grand appreciation for this actor’s considerable talents. On the surface, Hervé is about how a chance encounter between two people in various states of desperation find solace in each other’s pain. One survives to embark on a new life. The other does not. Between the lines, the movie — and this conversation — is about not giving up on a dream. Hervé risked everything to become a star. And it took 20 years of persistence for Sacha to see this vision realized. But it’s how one navigates success and failure that ultimately determines that which we truly seek — fulfillment, purpose, and of course happiness. Today we explore these themes. We discuss our predisposition to judge people based solely on their outsides. We dive deep into the delusion of fame. What happens when we pervert the need to be seen. And the emptiness purchased when we seek validation outside ourselves to salve the pain of life. On a personal note I can’t express how proud I am of Sa...
“Being vegan doesn’t hold you back from anything and in fact, it might make you better at what you want to do.” Keegan Kuhn Today’s episode features a conversation conducted before a live audience at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angles with acclaimed British ultra-runner Fiona Oakes and friend, multiple podcast guest and filmmaker Keegan Kuhn — one-half of the team behind both Cowspiracy & What The Health. Vegan since she was 6 years old, Fiona is an extraordinary athlete and exemplary human hailing from the UK who holds four world records for marathon running. Perhaps best known as the world’s fastest woman to run a marathon on all seven continents and the North Pole, in 2013 Fiona won both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon. But what makes her accomplishments all the more amazing is that at age 14 she was told she would never walk properly, let alone run, due to an illness that required more than 17 radical knee surgeries that culminated in the removal of her entire right knee cap. This week marks the release of this dynamic duo’s latest creative collaboration, a new documentary entitled Running For Good. Visually arresting, the film follows Fiona as she attempts to set a new world record and complete Marathon des Sables – a 250km race through the Sahara routinely dubbed the toughest footrace on Earth. Fiona runs not for podiums or glory, but instead to promote a compassionate way of living and break the stereotype that veganism holds you back from anything — all while tending to her true passion, operating Tower Hill Stables, where she cares for more than 450 rescued animals everyday. A departure from Keegan’s recent provocative fare, Running For Good is a more contained yet cinematically stunning portrait of an undeniably unique, compelling, funny, self-deprecating, inspiring and essentially anonymous figure deserving of far more notice, attention and acclaim than she has historically received. Executive produced by actor James Cromwell, I had the honor of providing some voice over to the film, as well as co-hosting the recent LA premiere of the film several weeks ago, where we recorded this conversation — which includes clips from the movie itself — post-screening before a live audience. Fiona is someone I respect and admire deeply and have wanted to get on the show for a very long time. My admiration for Keegan and his work is well documented by his many appearances on this show. So I’m delighted to bring them together for you today. In addition, we are setting a new audio production high water mark in this episode. Jason Camiolo (who composed the film’s beautiful score) did a masterful job weaving segments of the film into today’s exchange to elevate the dynamic quality of your listening experience. Big Announcement: Running For Good premieres globally on Vimeo October 11, 2018. For the first four (4) days of release (October 11-14), Keegan is generously making the film available to stream for FREE to the public. All you have to do is visit RunningForGoodFilm.com and type in the code FREE at checkout. To support Fiona’s life work at Tower Hill Stables, click here. For the visually inclined you’re not going to want to miss the video version of the podcast, which includes clips from the movie itself. Watch it here: a href="http://bit.
“Our kids don’t need the burden of our happiness on top of theirs.” KJ Dell’Antonia As every parent will attest, it’s so easy to sublimate one’s self care for the interest of a child’s needs – it’s basically programmed into our DNA. Intellectually we understand you can’t truly take care of another unless you attend to your own well-being first. But this idea runs counter to every parental instinct, making it very difficult to practice this important principle. It feels selfish. But our selfless intentions, albeit good, can lead us astray. Not only do they undermine our well-being, they’re not in our kids’ interest either — because an unhappy parent does not a happy child make. This is a solid solid life lesson, whether you have children or not. So let’s talk about it. While the vast majority of parenting advice focuses on raising happy children, today’s conversation flips the lens to concentrate on the radical, almost verboten subject of how to be a happier parent. To walk us through this hornet’s nest is KJ Dell’Antonia, a former New York Times reporter who wrote and edited the Motherlode blog from 2011-2016 and was a contributing editor to the Well Family section from 2016-2017. In addition, KJ co-hosts the #AmWriting podcast with parenting expert Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure (and former amazing podcast guest) and recently authored the new, aptly titled book How To Be A Happier Parent, a delightfully instructive, solution-packed, and research-backed primer aimed at helping parents find more happiness and joy in their day to day lives. This is a very fun conversation loaded with practical advice and easy-to-implement take-aways for the parents among us. But even if you don’t have children, there is plenty of wisdom here to mine. The principles discussed are applicable to all, irrespective of your child-rearing status. Because more than anything, this is a discourse on a crucial aspect of happiness we all share: self-care. Specific topics covered include how we can all do more by doing less (something I really need to work on). We discuss the problem spots that cause parents the most grief, with very small and doable steps to create a family life that serves as a pleasurable refuge rather than another stress point. We talk about the importance of promoting self-sovereignty in ourselves and our children so they mature into happy, independent self-regulators. And it’s a conversation about what family is really all about: not just churning out great kids on a success trajectory, but joy. It was a joy spending time with KJ. My hope is that you feel the same and leave this conversation with ample fuel to better the quality of your life and family. For the visually inclined you can watch it all go down here: bit.ly/richandkj Peace + Plants, Portraits by Reece Robinson Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | a title="Soundcl...
“The truth is the teacher. If I just tell the truth, it will have a message.” Jedidiah Jenkins The late Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” I think this quote beautifully captures the ethos of today’s conversation. Travel as an agitator of self-understanding. A template to deeply explore the deep intertwined relationship that lives and breathes in that beautiful space between adventure and identity. Our cipher for this transcendent voyage — how exterior horizons influence scrutiny of our interior landscape — is many things: author, global adventurer, social entrepreneur, human rights activist, lawyer, filmmaker, and magazine publisher. But labels fail to capture what makes Jedidiah Jenkins special. Let’s just call him beautiful human. I can’t quite recall how today’s guest first came across my radar. What I do remember is happening upon his rather stunning Instagram feed as he neared the end of a spectacular bicycle-powered journey that took him from Oregon to Patagonia. Each photograph more arresting than the one prior, every image conveyed it’s own story that perfectly informed an engaging larger narrative. But it’s Jedidiah’s accompanying entries — beautifully composed, contemplative and quite poetic — that set his feed apart. Writings themed less by place than interior geography, it’s Instagram as dynamic journal — an experiment in blogging that camps out hundreds of miles beyond any travelogue, blog or vlog you’ve ever before seen. I was hypnotized. Who is this guy? A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Pepperdine University School of Law, Jedidiah began his professional career as one of the founding leaders of Invisible Children, the small non-profit that overnight became world renown courtesy of a little social justice campaign you might have heard of called #Kony2012– a campaign that redefined internet virality. The progeny of adventurer journalist parents who quite famously graced the cover of National Geographic walking across America in the 1970’s, I think it’s fair to say that despite his desk-bound legal career, Jedidiah and the outdoors had a little destiny to sort out. And so, to celebrate his 30th birthday, Jedidiah quit the job he loved to unconsciously follow in his parents’ footsteps, scare himself, embrace the unknown and, like a character out of a Mark Twain novel, light out on the territory. Three years ago, I invited him on the podcast to share the story of his sixteen-month, 10,000 mile journey. To date it’s one of my favorite conversations in the history of this podcast. That day I made him promise to return upon completion of the book chronicling that experience. Today is that day. This week marks the release of To Shake The Sleeping Self. It’s everything I hoped it would be. On the surface it captures his epic bicycle expedition in vivid detail. But beyond the literal, it’s an elegant polemic about the search for identity, the cultivation of community, the struggle to find one’s place in the world, and ultimately embrace what it means to be human. An extraordinary storyteller, Jedidiah has an elegant gift for exploring the interior landscape.