Good Life Project podcast

Good Life Project

Jonathan Fields / Wondery

What does it mean to live a good life? What's the role of happiness, meaning, work, love, purpose, kindness, friendship, and more? How do status, circumstance, gender, privilege, race, identity, and more play into the quest to live your best life? These are the questions and topics we explore every week in conversation with leading voices in art, science, industry, and culture, from Brené Brown, Matthew McConaughey, & Bishop Michael Curry, to Austin Channing Brown, Glennon Doyle, Julián Castro, & hundreds of others.

685 episodios

  • Good Life Project podcast

    On Gratitude | Anne Lamott, Janice Kaplan & Jonathan Fields

    1:02:51

    We’re entering a time of year where gratitude is on our minds. And, honestly, it’s also been a year, even a season, where being thankful, noticing what’s wondrous or good, or even just not bad, well it's not always the easiest thing. And, yet, gratitude, attentiveness, and appreciation are such deeply-wired contributors to the human condition, ones that carry with them the capacity to transform nearly any experience - one of anger, one of loss, one of fear, one of anxiety, one of sadness, agitation, futility, or grief - into a moment of awakening, solace, connection and, in its highest forms, grace. There’s even powerful research on the psychological and physiological effect of gratitude and appreciation, both as a state and a willful intervention.So, we wanted to take the occasion of this week to explore a few different takes on gratitude, appreciation, and generosity-of-spirit, drawing upon conversations I’ve had over the years with famed author and social-observer extraordinaire, Anne Lamott, writer, producer, and big thinker, Janice Kaplan, and I’m also weaving in a few thoughts from one of my books, How to Live a Good Life. I hope you enjoy this exploration of gratitude, attentiveness, and appreciation, how it changes us, and why we might want to bring more of it into our experience of life.You can find Anne Lamott at: Website | Instagram | Dusk Night DawnYou can find Janice Kaplan at: Website | Instagram | The Gratitude DiariesYou can find the audiobook Jonathan's book at: How to Live a Good LifeIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the full-length conversations we had with Anne Lamott & Janice Kaplan.Check out our offerings & partners: Parachute: Premium quality sheets, towels, robes and more. Like nothing you've ever felt. Make staying in more comfortable with our modern home collections. Responsibly manufactured. Visit ParachuteHome.com/GOODLIFE for free shipping and returns on Parachute’s very comfortable home essentials.Sarah Flint Shoes: Comfort-driven design, with features like arch support and extra footbed padding. Sarah Flint shoes are handcrafted in Italy by the artisans who make the highest quality luxury shoes in the world. Get $50 off your first Sarah Flint purchase when you go to SarahFlint.com/GOODLIFESee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein | All Things Being Equal, Nothing Ever Is

    1:00:54

    One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is a Professor of Physics and Core Faculty Member in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She’s also one of fewer than a hundred Black American women to earn a Ph.D. from a department of physics. Born in East Los Angeles, a devout Dodgers fan, she’s a citizen of both the United States and Barbados and a descendant of Afro-Caribbean and Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. Chanda decided to become a theoretical physicist at the age of 10, after an experience, which we dive into, lit a fire of curiosity and possibility. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly non-traditional, and grounded in Black feminist traditions. A powerful voice in her field, Chanda urges us to recognize how science, like most fields, is far from an equal playing field, with racism, sexism, and other dehumanizing systems playing a role not only in who participates in the field but also in the essential nature of the work and the potential discoveries and insights it yields. She lays out a bold new approach to science and society that begins with the belief that we all have a fundamental right to know and love the night sky. In her groundbreaking new book, The Disordered Cosmos, Chanda shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter — all with a new spin informed by history, politics, and the wisdom of Star Trek. We explore her personal journey and many of these ideas in today’s conversation.You can find Chanda at: Website | InstagramIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor about the science of the brain.My new book Sparked.Check out our offerings & partners: Peloton: Access high-energy workouts, instantly. Discover Peloton: streaming fitness classes to you live and on-demand. With the Peloton Bike, there’s nothing like working out from home. Learn more at onepeloton.com. New members can try Peloton classes free for 30 days at onepeloton.com/app. Terms apply.Canva: Create beautiful designs with your team. Use Canva's drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more. Design like a pro with Canva Pro! Right now, you can get a FREE 45-day extended trial when you use my promo code! Just go to Canva.me/GOODLIFESee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Jeffrey Davis | A Wonder-Full Life

    1:06:03

    What if you could work, play, and live in a state of wonder? Even now! That’s the question I explore with today’s guest, Jeffrey Davis. A poet, writer, deep-thinker, founder and CEO of the Tracking Wonder Consultancy, Jeffrey’s got an invitation for all of us. To get off the toxic productivity treadmill, which so many have been hammered by in recent times, and reclaim a sense of possibility, meaning, and wonder. To step back into a place of curiosity and lightness. And, when Jeffrey offers that invitation, it’s not just a naive suggestion to rediscover your inner child, but rather a quest to bring wonder back into your life, based on more than 15 years of research, experimentation, and application. Along the way, Jeffrey has developed a powerful, proven, step-by-step methodology to begin bringing wonder back into your work, relationships, devotions, and life. He shares this in his gorgeous new book, Tracking Wonder, and we dive into key ideas and explorations in today’s conversation.You can find Jeffrey at: Website | InstagramIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with iconic author, Anne Lamott, about opening to all life brings your way.My new book Sparked.Check out our offerings & partners: Talkspace: Online Counseling Via Text, Audio, Or Video Messaging. At Any Time, From Anywhere. Get $100 off of your first month with Talkspace. To match with a licensed therapist today, go to Talkspace.com or download the app. Make sure to use the code GOODLIFE to get $100 off of your first month and show your support for the show.ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness has helped hundreds of thousands of people get their business off the ground by guiding them every step of the way and making it easier to launch a successful business. Get started today for as low as $49 at zenbusiness.com/GOODLIFE.Come From Away: Broadway’s Tony-winning, feel-good again musical is welcoming audiences back into the heart of the remarkable true story. In the middle of nowhere, one small town showed the world that the kindness of strangers could bring us closer. Come back together at Come From Away.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Tim Ferriss | On Love, Loss & Meaning [Best Of]

    1:24:50

    If you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Kamal Ravikant about reimagining life and learning to love himself.You can find Tim Ferriss at: Website | Instagram | The Tim Ferris Show podcastTim Ferriss has been a man on a mission, driven to deconstruct mastery and excellence, then share what he's learned. It began with his own relentless experimentation and documentation, which yielded #1 New York Times bestsellers The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef along with a series of other books. In more recent years, this yearning has led him to sit down with hundreds of elite performers, from a vast array of domains, on a quest to reveal what made them them. These conversations are shared weekly on Tim's award-winning podcast, The Tim Ferris Show. In today's Best Of conversation, we cover very different ground, and get very personal. Tim actually lost a number of people in the year before we sat down in the studio, turned 40 and found himself in a deeply contemplative and emotional space, thinking about who he is, how he wants to create the next 40 years of his life and what matters. When I sat down with Tim, he'd recently returned from an intensive 10-day silent meditation retreat. While gone, he lost yet another close friend. He was, in his own words, in an incredibly "porous" place, leading more from the heart than the head, which was a bit of a major turnaround for him.We spent time deconstructing Tim's 10-day silent meditation experience, his struggles and awakenings, how it compared to psychedelic experiences and how, barring one major saving grace, his retreat may have sent him spiraling into a very bad place. We also talked about his experience with death, his decision to append audio of his departed friend, Terry Laughlin, which was recorded by Terry's daughters in the hospital during his final days of life to the end of Tim's recent podcast interview with Terry. Tim also shared his decision to take the TED stage, switching last minute to talk about something deeply painful and personal, and what that meant to him, his lens on legacy work (and how it landed with his family, who didn't know what he'd be talking about). And, we explored Tim's awakening to a "softer" set of metrics to measure a life well-lived and his evolving definition of what it truly means to live a good life.My new book Sparked.Check out our offerings & partners: Tommy John: We fixed underwear. Smart design and fabrics mean no more pulling at your pant line. Get comfortable with yourself. No Adjustment Needed. And right now you’ll get 20% OFF your first order at TommyJohn.com/GOODLIFE.Bean Box: Give the coffee fanatic in your life an unforgettable coffee-tasting experience with Bean Box. Our coffee is expertly curated and always fresh, with fast delivery and free shipping. Order today at beanbox.com/GOODLIFE and get 15% off purchases of $40 or more.Indeed: Connect with your talent audience so you can make more quality hires faster. Post your job, interview candidates, and make offers all on Indeed. Get started right now with a FREE $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post at  Indeed.com/GOODLIFE. Offer valid through December 31st. Terms and conditions apply. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis | A Fierce Love

    1:02:02

    The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is an author, Activist, and Public Theologian, the first woman and first Black Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, which is a multiracial, incredibly welcoming, and inclusive congregation in the Lower East Side of New York City, which dates to 1628. Growing up in church in the South Side of Chicago, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when she was nine incited what would become a lifelong devotion to activism and social justice. Graduating school, then spending a decade working in the corporate world, she felt called to redefine how she would step into her own exploration of faith, attending Princeton Theological Seminary, then devoting herself to urban ministry, with the intention of reimagining what faith, church, and community could be. Eventually becoming a leader in Middle Church, Rev. Lewis has been instrumental in bringing together what she calls a “multiethnic rainbow coalition of love, justice, and worship that rocks her soul,” and has remained a leading voice in activism, with her work have featured by the TODAY Show, MSNBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, among many others. She is the creator of the MSNBC online show, Just Faith and the PBS show, Faith and Justice, in which she led important conversations about culture and current events. Her podcast, Love.Period., is produced by the Center for Action and Contemplation. And her new book, Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World, is a deep exploration of faith, race, justice and transformation, bundled with exercises that invite you in a path of personal growth, activism and collective elevation.You can find Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis at: Website | Instagram | Love.Period. podcastIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Bishop Michael Curry about love as a path to reconciliation and healing.My new book Sparked.Check out our offerings & partners: Peloton: Access high-energy workouts, instantly. Discover Peloton: streaming fitness classes to you live and on-demand. With the Peloton Bike, there’s nothing like working out from home. Learn more at onepeloton.com. New members can try Peloton classes free for 30 days at onepeloton.com/app. Terms apply.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Andy J. Pizza | Your Creative Pep Talk

    1:25:57

    Imagine going through life with the name, Andy J. Pizza. That’s what my guest today goes by, but it wasn’t his given name, but rather his claimed name. More on that when we talk. Andy was the kid who perpetually zagged when everyone else zigged. And, at a young age, he saw this same pattern in his mother, he was so much like her. Which, in part, lit him up, but also terrified him. In his mom, these same impulses were married to mental illness that led to a life of struggle. He feared that’s where he was headed, too, until a realization dropped that would not only lead him down his own path, but also empower him to embrace life differently and trust he could make it work. And, indeed, he has. Andy has built a stunning career as an illustrator, author of kid’s books, animator, and contributor to The New York Times, Apple, Nickelodeon and countless other mega-brands. Driven to share and inspire others in the creative community, he heads up the fantastic Creative Pep Talk podcast, where, by the way, I was his guest recently. And, Andy is a master of the stage, with a style of public speaking that’s one part TED Talk, one part one-man show — with a sprinkle of stand-up comedy. His friends call his approach Laydown Tragedy ( 😆) - because it’s the opposite of stand-up comedy, in that instead of shooting for laughs, he aim for tears, but in the best of ways!You can find Andy at: Website | Instagram | Creative Pep Talk PodcastIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Morgan Harper Nichols about leaning into creativity and language as a form of both creative expression and emotional processing.My new book Sparked!Check out our offerings & partners: Parachute: Premium quality sheets, towels, robes and more. Like nothing you've ever felt. Make staying in more comfortable with our modern home collections. Responsibly manufactured. Visit ParachuteHome.com/GOODLIFE for free shipping and returns on Parachute’s very comfortable home essentials.Theragun: A deep muscle massage treatment, unlike anything you've ever felt. Feel better, move better, and recover faster with tension and soreness relief. Try Theragun for 30-days starting at only $199. Go to Therabody.com/GOODLIFE right now and get your Gen 4 Theragun today. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Anthony Trucks | Shifting Your Identity

    1:05:02

    If you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor about how we can understand and tap our whole brains to live fuller lives.Anthony Trucks entered the foster system, along with his two siblings, when he was three years old, then spent years enduring a series of brutal experiences. Until he found a home where, after 8 years of legal battles, he became emancipated from his mom and was adopted by his then longtime foster parents. Still, a young Black man, now part of a White family who also struggled with poverty, he struggled to belong. Not so much to his family, but to the broader culture around him. He turned to football, working to rise up in the sport and, years down the road, accomplished his dream of being drafted and playing for the NFL. But, not long into his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a career-ending injury would bring it all tumbling down, and leave him stripped not only of his career but his very identity. And, that led to deep struggle, the demise of his family, and a season where Anthony found himself having to rediscover and redefine his sense of identity, who he was as a human being, a partner, a father, a friend, and someone driven to inspire agency and change in others. That journey led him back into the world of wellness, personal growth, speaking, training, and even competing in American Ninja Warrior. As a speaker and identity shift coach, Anthony teaches people how to design and build better lives and businesses by learning how to access the power of their identity to tap into their full potential, a methodology shared in his book, Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life.You can find Anthony at: Website | InstagramMy new book Sparked!Check out our offerings & partners: Sarah Flint Shoes: Comfort-driven design, with features like arch support and extra footbed padding. Sarah Flint shoes are handcrafted in Italy by the artisans who make the highest quality luxury shoes in the world. Get $50 off your first Sarah Flint purchase when you go to SarahFlint.com/GOODLIFEMiro: Miro’s infinitely zoomable canvas and web whiteboard enables you to work the way you want to. Unleash your creativity, plan projects from all angles, and create centralized hubs of information to keep everyone in the loop. Go to miro.com/goodlife to start your free account. Sign up today and take advantage of three FREE white boards with this EXCLUSIVE offer.Sleep Number: Adjustable firmness, comfort and support on each side. Proven quality sleep is life-changing sleep. Special offers now available for a limited time. Only at Sleep Number stores or sleepnumber.com/GOODLIFESee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Diego Perez (Yung Pueblo) | Clarity & Connection

    1:08:38

    Born in Guayaquil Ecuador, Deigo Perez - who is known by the pseudonym Yung Pueblo - moved with his family to Boston, where he saw his parents work relentless hours and struggle with poverty. He turned to activism and advocacy at a young age, then attended Wesleyan where his life devolved into partying and drugs that threatened to become his way of being as he moved into adulthood. But a moment of reckoning would awaken him both to his need to refocus on mental and physical wellbeing, as well as recenter meaning in his work and life.A quest was set in motion, one that would eventually lead Diego into a 10-day vipassana meditation experience that had a profound impact and would set him on a path of self-discovery, and an ever-deepening devotion to a now years-long, 2-hour-a-day meditation practice, regular extended retreats, and the pursuit of truth and wisdom. A part of that exploration also involved writing, and what began as a tool to process his own experiences eventually became a public writing practice. His words landed in a powerful way, amassing a global audience of millions of people, writing under the pseudonym, Yung Pueblo, which is both a reminder to him to stay grounded in a younger, growth mindset, and also a contained to frame this current season of work as a project that doesn’t constrain his own personal and professional growth. Diego’s new book, Clarity & Connection, shares many of his recent insights about life, meaning, love, work, self-awareness, and of course, clarity and connection.You can find Yung Pueblo at: Website | InstagramIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Tara Brach about wisdom and compassion.My new book Sparked!Check out our offerings & partners: Upstart: Upstart's lending platform provides direct-to-consumer personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 and automated borrowing technology for banks and credit unions. Find out how Upstart can lower your monthly payments today when you go to Upstart.com/GOODLIFE. Loan amounts will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.Wild Alaskan Company: Wild-Caught Sustainable Seafood. A monthly seafood membership that delivers sustainably sourced seafood to your doorstep. And right now you can get $15 off your first box of premium seafood when you visit wildalaskancompany.com/goodlifeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Shelly Tygielski | Awakening to Your Call

    1:11:28

    Brought up in a deeply observant Jewish Orthodox household with a reverence for her family’s history, Shelly Tygielski embraced the traditions, teachings, and practices of her faith, even spending summers in Jerusalem with family. Heading to college, then grad school, she pursued her masters in international affairs, then began building a powerhouse career in business, along with a family. But, along the way, she found herself questioning the rules and assumptions by which she lived, and the more she did, the more the walls began to come tumbling down. At 27, diagnosed with a chronic disease that left her temporarily blind, she knew a different narrative needed to be set in motion. She began to embrace her then years-long exploration of Eastern traditions and practices, growing largely out of Tibetan Buddhism, and started the process of reclaiming and reimagining her life. A process that would eventually lead her away from a 20-year career at the highest levels of business and into the world of advocacy and self-care. Though, as you’ll learn, advocacy and a deep exploration of the heart and mind, have always been a part of her DNA. Shelly began teaching meditation to a few friends on the beach, and each time, more people started showing up, until her Sunday meditation on the beach grew into a community of more than 15,000 people that call themselves The Sand Tribe. Her promise - no barrier to entry, all are welcome. Her fierce devotion to elevating others led her to post a simple form online during March of 2020, connecting those in need with those who wanted to help. It went viral, becoming a global mutual aid movement called the Pandemic of Love that has now generated more than $60-million in mutual aid, matched over 2-million people, and served as a bridge to see the humanity in others at a time it’s needed more than ever. She shared much of this journey in her powerful new book, Sit Down to Rise Up: How Radical Self-Care Can Change the World.You can find Shelly at: Website | InstagramIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Jennifer Pastiloff about leading with love and compassion.My new book Sparked!Check out our offerings & partners: AquaTru: Countertop reverse osmosis water purifier that's certified to create bottled-quality water. Receive $100 off an AquaTru plus free shipping when you go to AquaTru.com & enter code GOODLIFE at checkout.Everlane: Shop Everlane for the most beautiful essentials, at the best factories, without traditional markups. Go to everlane.com/goodlife and sign up for 10% off your first order plus free shipping. And get easy returns within 30 days of your ship date.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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    Alan Cumming | Making Peace & Claiming Joy

    47:49

    Surviving what he describes as a tormented childhood riddled with abuse, Alan Cumming turned to acting, before he knew it was acting, as a way to step out of the world he inhabited and into one of his own creation. One that was safe, where he made the rules. That impulse eventually led him to leave home, study drama in Glasgow, and, in his words” tumble” into a career that, from the outside-in, has appeared as an endless stream of successes. He’s performed with everyone from Jay Z to Liza Minelli; won countless theatrical awards, made back-to-back films with Stanley Kubrick and the Spice Girls; played God, the Devil, Hitler, the Pope, a teleporting superhero, Hamlet, all the parts in Macbeth, General Batista of Cuba, a goat opposite Sean Connery, and political spinmeister Eli Gold on seven seasons of The Good Wife. He’s also owned the stage and invited people to re-examine their beliefs, identity, sexuality and sense of power, propriety and openness in the role of the EmCee in Cabaret, which he took on three times over 22 years in London and on Broadway. He’s the author of five books including a #1 New York Times best-selling memoir; and played the first-ever gay leading role on a US network drama, CBS’s Instinct. And, Alan was made an Officer of the British Empire for his contributions to the arts and LBGT equality by the Queen, and has had a love affair with New York City for nearly three decades, where he lives with his husband, and just for fun, also owns a bar.What sounds like a near-magical life on stages, television and the big screen, though, has also seen its share of profound pain, loss, grief, existential struggle, and eventually a series of reckonings, and awakenings to who and what matters, and a certain reclamation of joy and life. Now in his 50s, he reflects on these moments along this journey in his new book, Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life, and we dive into all of it, along with his take on current culture, in today’s conversation. You can find Alan at: Website | InstagramIf you LOVED this episode:You’ll also love the conversations we had with Matthew McConaughey about what really matters in life.My new book Sparked!Check out our offerings & partners: Peloton: Access high-energy workouts, instantly. Discover Peloton: streaming fitness classes to you live and on-demand. With the Peloton Bike, there’s nothing like working out from home. Learn more at onepeloton.com. New members can try Peloton classes free for 30 days at onepeloton.com/app. Terms apply.Air Doctor: Capture contaminants and chemicals with a medical-grade UltraHEPA air purifier that’s 100X more effective than ordinary purifiers. Go to airdoctorpro.com and use the promo code GOODLIFE to receive a 35% discount off their classic AirDoctor 3000 purifier.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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