The Rise of Superman. What an awesome title and vision. Steven Kotler is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of flow. He created the Flow Genome Project that is all about “decoding the peak performance state of flow.” (<—Awesome.) In this book we take a peak at how we can get our greatness on. Big Ideas include a quick look at flow and how to hack it, achieving mastery sans misery, using fear as a compass and how to do the impossible.
Todd Henry tells us that history’s most impactful humans all had a unique, powerful, authentic voice. This book is all about helping us harness the power of OUR authentic voice. Three keys: Identity + Vision + Mastery. And, we’ve gotta learn how to own the Big U as we run our own race, have fun in monk mode and practice action + patience.
Test: "I'll give you two marshmallows if you wait 20 minutes or you can have one now." How pre-schoolers responded to that predicted their SAT scores at 16, their BMI at 30 and brain health at 50. (WOW.)
Be quick!! But don't hurry. John Wooden repeated that all.the.time to his players in every.single.practice. We need to live with intensity (!), fully showing up and playing at the edge of our abilities WHILE staying centered. Andy Hill walks us through how he learned how to do that playing under Wooden during their dynasty days.
In The Talent Code, Dan Coyle introduced us to the power of myelin and its role in creating world-class performance. In The Little Book of Talent, he shares 52 uber-practical tips on how to improve our skills. Big Ideas we explore include how to actually deliberately practice (hint: find your sweet spot), the most important skill (hint: get good at actually practicing), playing mental movies, adopting a blue collar mind set and thinking like a gardener while acting like a carpenter.
Gabriel Oettingen is one of the world’s leading researchers in “The New Science of Motivation.” The basic idea of the book is captured in a clever image on the cover: Rose colored glasses with one lens cracked. Oettingen walks us thru the compelling research that demonstrates the power of seeing both the positive AND the challenges. When we contrast our wishes with the obstacles to their attainment we, almost magically, catalyze an extraordinarily higher level of performance.
Ronda Rousey is a TOUGH human being. If you’re even remotely familiar with MMA/the UFC, I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know but reading this book brings the point home even more loud and clear. If you don’t know Ronda, ESPN just voted her the best fighter on the planet. She’s an Olympic medalist in Judo and the biggest (and highest paid!) star in the mixed martial arts world. Imagine if Bruce Lee was alive today. And he was a woman. That’s Ronda Rousey. :)
Steve Chandler tells us “There is bad and there is good . . . And then there is crazy good." And, our path to living a crazy-good life is simple. It's all about CHOICES. As with all of Steve's books, this one is packed with wisdom. Big Ideas we cover include The 5% Solution, Systems vs. Dreams, Game vs. Shame, and making life an experiment.
Georges St-Pierre. GSP. If you’re into mixed martial arts/the UFC, you know GSP as one of the greatest pound for pound fighters ever. Although I’m not really a big MMA guy, I’ve always admired the sheer, visceral strength + courage of fighters and elite warriors like the UFC champions + Navy SEALs/Army Rangers. In this great book we get a behind the scenes look into GSP’s greatness. Big Ideas include Areté, Sacrifices vs. Decisions, being courageous (hint: it’s NOT about being fearless), crazy dreams + long journeys, and dedication.
Who do LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Dwight Howard, James Harden and a ton of other top basketball players go to to get better? Idan Ravin. If you’re into sports + self-development + the pursuit of being the best you can possibly be, I think you’ll *love* the book. Big Ideas include getting paid to do what you love, greatness, obstacles and exiting the cave.
Jason Selk is one of the world’s leading peak performance experts. His tagline? “The relentless pursuit of greatness.” If that appeals to you, you’ll love this book. It’s *fantastic*! Big Ideas we explore include the difference between Process and Product Goals, a 100-second mental training workout, why your self-image matters and the REMARKABLE benefits of writing down your goals.
Leonardo da Vinci. Charles Darwin. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Martha Graham. The Wright Brothers. Jane Goodall. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Edison. Zora Neale Hurston. What do they all have in common? Mastery. In this great book Robert Greene shows us the key components of their mastery and, most importantly, how WE can each attain our mastery in our own lives.
Cal Newport decodes the pattern of finding work that inspires us and tells us, as per the sub-title, “Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.” The title of the book comes from comedian Steve Martin’s advice to aspiring entertainers to “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
You ever find yourself procrastinating? Well then, my friend, it's time to Eat That Frog!! Brian Tracy gives us 21 good reasons to figure out the most important work for your life and day and get on it already. Big Ideas include discovering your #1 goal, 80/20 time management, taking care of the raw materials of peak performance, and single handling.
Who does Zen master Phil Jackson go to when he wants to get his players' minds right? George Mumford. Mumford has coached everyone from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant and gives us a great introduction to mindfulness way beyond sports. Big Ideas we explore include Kobe's 1,300 3-pointers (PER DAY), romancing your discomfort zone, stepping in btwn stimulus and response, and REALLY listening to yourself.
Did you know there’s an equation for Procrastination? Yep. Expectancy x Value / Impulsiveness x Delay = Motivation. Thank you, Piers Steel. In this great book, Piers (a leading researcher on the science of motivation/procrastination) walks us thru the power of that equation. Big Ideas we explore include: Mental Contrasting (and why it beats creative visualization), goal setting (3 scientific keys) and how to add a month of productivity to your year.
EVERYBODY procrastinates. And this "concise guide" by Timothy Pychl, Ph.D.--one of the world's leading procrastination experts--helps us solve the procrastination puzzle. Big Ideas we explore include IF ... THEN (<-- huge!), Just getting started (vs. Just doing it), the horror of "It will just take a minute," why multitasking is a myth, and why it's best to be nice to yourself when you stumble.
This is Austin Kleon’s second masterful little book on optimizing creativity. The first? Steal Like an Artist. After learning how to get our creativity on, we’re ready to become the artist whose ideas *others* steal. Big Ideas include chain creating, micro sabbaticals, playing till the 9th inning, troll pooper scoopers, and the #1 way to get more followers.
This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.
Although, as per the sub-title, the book is ostensibly about “How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra),” it’s really about excelling at learning and at LIFE! Barbara Oakley is an award winning engineering teacher who used to struggle mightily with math and science. She walks us through the latest research in neuroscience and learning as she shares fascinating biographical sketches of scientific + mathematical luminaries along with wisdom from other world-class teachers. Great stuff.
If you’re looking for a smart, grounded, funny and well-written introduction to the Paleo movement, this is the perfect place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the five ages of our origins (Animal + Paleolithic + Agricultural + Industrial + Information), poisons vs. fountains of youth, the importance of meaning (and how to dial it in) and alarm clocks for bed time.
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history and arguably the greatest athlete ever. This book is a quick look at 8 virtues that led to his 8 gold medals in '08. Big Ideas we explore include how to train your mind, going all in, knowing what's important now (aka W.I.N.), and not confusing "can't" vs. "won't."
Stephen Cope is the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living—the largest yoga research institute in the Western world. In this great book, Stephen brings the Bhagavad Gita to life and helps us apply this ancient wisdom to our modern lives. Big Ideas include the four keys to living your dharma, creating the right conditions, dealing with difficulties, training elephants, and reducing yourself to zero!
Greg Krech is one of the world’s leading teachers of Japanese psychology. This book integrates three core facets of the work he has done for the last 25+ years: Morita Therapy + kaizen + Naikan. Big Ideas we explore include understanding what is within our control and what is not (hint: thoughts and feelings are not; behaviors are), how to create momentum in your life and the importance of constant incremental improvement.
You ever struggle with perfectionism? If so, it’s time to learn how to be an imperfectionist! Stephen Guise (author of Mini Habits), shows us the way. Big Ideas include being a poser, living within floors and ceilings, thinking vs. doing, pulling the lever, and cultivating result apathy.