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BHP 017: Ex-Special Forces George Briones on Resilience, Purpose and Polyphasic Sleep

George Briones is a former Marine Special Forces operator who now provides elite-level training for endurance athletes, weightlifters, and adrenaline junkies all over the world.
 
If you’re an entrepreneur, athlete, hard-charger, or anywhere close to a Type A personality, this conversation about the struggle to find balance with our purpose, drive, and chasing dreams, while paying attention to recovery and relationships is for you.
 
George candidly talks about his struggles transitioning out of the military, the lessons he learned and how those experiences have made him a better coach for his athletes – and a better human.
 
We also talk about his experiment with polyphasic sleep, ditching the traditional 7-9 hour sleep period in favor of multiple shorter sleep phases throughout the day – a method used by geniuses like Tesla, Da Vinci, Churchill, Napoleon, and Edison to increase productivity.

What You’ll Hear From George Briones on the Better Human Project:

  • The tough transitions in life, finding balance with purpose, relationships, and career.
  • George talks about the critical moments that snapped him out of his funk and unhealthy lifestyle. 
  • Why we should wake up every morning like we’re trying to work our way up to the top. 
  • “Human beings are put on this earth to help push each other to become better.”
  • Why George says we should get comfortable being uncomfortable and work to put yourself out of a job. 
  • Sleeping like Einstein: George’s polyphasic sleeping experiment, his pre/post bed routine and how he uses
  • The 3 H’s to measure and monitor progress. 
  • George’s tips to #BeBetter and #DoBetter:
    • Be kind, smile at everyone you see and ask someone if they need help. 

Featured Guest

  • George B (@soflete_gb3) • Instagram
  • SOFlete (@sofletehq) • Instagram
  • SOFLETE Website

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

  • DARREN HARDY (@darrenjhardy) • Instagram
  • Rick Alexander (@run.lift.evolve) • Instagram
  • Gary Vay-Ner-Chuk (@garyvee) • Instagram

 

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BHP 016: Record Executive Maria Egan | Innovation, Creation & Leadership

Named one of Billboard’s Top 40 under 40, Maria Egan is the President and Head of Creative at Pulse Records. The former Vice President of A & R at Columbia Records is an insightful leader and champion of the arts and creative process. 

In this episode of the Better Human Project, we chat with Maria about all things art, creativity, trend spotting, innovation, and leadership. Enjoy.

Show Notes

  • How music gave Maria a safe place in a complicated household growing up. (4:40)
  • Why Maria says NOT becoming a music snob helped her be a better music critic and talent scout. (6:00)
  • No limitations, positive discrimination, and women in executive positions. (8:20)
  • Be gender blind. Advice for young women – and men – wanting to be in executive positions. (11:48)
  • Why Maria left a label like Columbia to head up an Indie label: Her desire to be part of building something new and truly artist friendly and join a small boutique label. (15:02)
  •  How Maria’s process of seeing everyone’s unique strengths, understanding their personal goals enables her to see what others haven’t seen, and find missing perspectives that help her discover talented artists and hit songs and build amazing teams. (18:40)
  • How artists today can leverage new opportunities to engage a culture that behaves and consumes content in new ways (21:28)
  • Maria’s knack for finding fringe artists and bringing them into the main stream and her goal to bring patronage back into the music business. (24:55)
  • “Great art creates its own demand.” (29:40)
  • Maria’s Tips to #BeBetter and #DoBetter:
    • Meditate, quiet down and tap you into your core values – Give it away. (31:25)

Featured Guest

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

  • Karen Carpenter  
  • Carly Simon (@CarlySimonHQ) | Twitter
  • Tiësto (@tiesto) • Instagram
  • Julia Michaels
  • Adele (@adele) • Instagram
  • One Direction (@onedirection) • Instagram
  • Bruno Mars (@brunomars) • Instagram
  • Madonna
  • Lady Gaga

 

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BHP 015: Big Wave Surfer Cheyne Magnusson

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to ride a fiberglass board on a 50 foot wall of water that travels faster than a motorcycle and breaks over coral reef in 6 feet of shark-infested water?

The barrel is so wide you can drive an RV through it and not touch the walls of the wave. It’s the best feeling!

From 7-mile long waves in China to tow-in sessions at Tahiti’s famed Teahupoo (pronounced “Cho-poo”), Cheyne Magnusson is no stranger to big waves. In this week’s episode of the Better Human Project we unpack what it takes to succeed at the highest level and how to balance the fearlessness and humility required to ride – and survive – some of natures most awe-inspiring waves.

Cheyne also shares the wisdom from his mentors that has enabled him to avoid the pitfalls of stardom, to enjoy a long career, and how the next chapter  of his life is focused on helping the future generation of surfers – including mentorship, wave parks and his special mission with Surfing For Autism.

Show Notes

  • Skateboarding before walking… Cheyne’s father, a pro skater in the 80s, tied a leash to a skateboard with a car seat fastened to it to haul young Cheyne around. (4:37)
  • The therapeutic and calming impact surfing had on Cheyne as he grew up. (5:45)
  • Scared shitless, but doing it anyway. The excitement and anticipation of preparing to hit a big wave. (8:23)
  • “It looked like the whole ocean was going to fold over.” Cheyne takes us inside the world’s biggest and deadliest waves. (10:32)
  • Riding a seven mile wave known as “The Silver Dragon,” through skyscrapers in China (16:25)
  • “It makes you become an adult pretty quick.” How the birth of his daughter changed Cheyne and how he now calculates the waves he does ride on. (18:54)
  • How Cheyne avoided the pitfalls of celebrity and the biggest lessons he learned from his mentors. (22:15)
  • The number one lesson Cheyne shares with the young surfers he mentors – and his lesson for his daughter. (26:06)
  • Why Cheyne created a skate park for the kids in his hometown. (33:20)
  • How waves, surfing, and human connection have a profound impact on children with Autism and their parents. (36:45)
  • Take risks and be good to others. How he has taken the advice into his own life. (40:28)
  • Bringing surf to middle America with wave parks. How Cheyne and a few others are revolutionizing the future of surfing. (42:45)
  • Cheyne’s Tips to #BeBetter and #DoBetter: Be empathic and always know there are two sides to every story, come up with solutions, and seek to further a cause – not just yourself. (45:58)

Featured Guest

  • Cheyne Magnusson (@redtide83) • Instagram
    • (@CheyneMags) | Twitter

Related Links/Products Mentioned

Surfing The Silver Dragon, China’s 7-Mile Tidal Wave:

People Mentioned

  • Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) • Instagram
  • Laird Hamilton (@lairdhamiltonsurf) • Instagram
  • Matt Kazuma Kinoshita (@kazumasurfboards) • Instagram

 

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BONUS Episode with Rick Alexander of Lionheart Radio

Rick Alexander is one of my favorite humans.

His efforts to give back and “make a dent in the universe” are almost single-handedly responsible for planting the seeds of charitable contribution for the Better Human Project.

In this bonus episode, Rick and I recorded one of our Saturday morning chats over coffee to highlight his mission with Project Motive, how he rode a bike for 12 hours straight to help give nearly 300 kids a bicycle for Christmas, and where his drive to give back comes from.

We hope you enjoy this special episode of the Better Human Project.

Show Notes – Bonus Episode – Rick Alexander

  • I wrote this book, because I had to write this book. How Rick truly wrote his book for himself, just as much for others to take ownership of their own lives. (3:07)
  • The two most important things in my life are adventure and goodwill and both those things are free. Rick shares a personal story of how a bike changed his life, the impact his programs have had, the importance of community and his ability to give people some of the life experiences that have been beneficial to him. (7:05)
  • I have my A race and my B race. Rick describes how he is currently training and what strategies he implements for recovery. (22:00)
  • Find out what works to move the needle. How Rick is working on data for people to find their epicenter of strength and endurance to master their goals. (26:00)
  • The nervous system and muscular system are different things. Ryan explains the differences between the two and how to not push your CNS too much to halt your progress. (33:45)
  • Mindset is everything. How there are different levels of human in their approach and results. (36:45)
  • Finding balance between different practices. The biggest ah-ha moment that Rick found this past year and to make the simple things matter to you. (39:50)
  • Money is the thing that is going to allow you to create impact. What books is he currently reading? (45:40)

Featured Guest

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

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BHP 014: Jeff Castelaz | Music, Cancer, and Authentic Expression

This week’s guest on the Better Human Project is music industry veteran and philanthropist Jeff Castelaz.

While Jeff’s day job includes managing the Dropkick Murphys, he’s on the BHP for his humanitarian efforts and to share his son, Pablo’s story.

Jeff’s son Pablo lost his battle to cancer at the age of 6. Now, through the charity that bears Pablo’s name, The Pablove Foundation, Jeff is helping thousands of families cope with pediatric cancer.

In this powerful episode, Jeff talks about music, cancer, our true purpose here, authentic expression, connection and healing. We hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.

Show Notes

  • The words no parent should ever hear: “Your son has cancer”
  • Starting a charity, The Pablove Foundation; looking to help others even in the midst of our own adversity and healing through the power of connection
  • Giving voice to the voiceless
  • How music helped Jeff through his own rough childhood – and what it taught him about art, creativity, and expression 
  • Looking for authenticity, emotional transportation and connection in music as a music critic and manager
  • What do you stand for and what do you stand up for?
  • Jeff’s cross-country bicycle ride and how you can Cycle With Pablove
  • Shutterbugs: bringing childhood back to children with cancer
  • The power of structure, rules, accountability and responsibility
  • Jeff’s Top Tip to BE a Better Human
  • Jeff’s #1 Tip to DO better as a human

Links and Resources


 

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BHP 013: Stuntman Mark Kubr | Mastery, Listening, and Stewardship

Stuntman Mark Kubr says we need to “sit down, shut up, and listen.”

This mantra has served the Stunt Director for LA LA Land well, helping him succeed in a variety of pursuits; including modeling, magazine cover photographer, stuntman, and now the Stunt Coordinator for some of Hollywood’s biggest movies.

To hear Mark tell it, all of his success can be attributed to that mantra: shut our mouth, listen to what people are saying, and then serving their needs to the best of our ability.

Not only can this advice help be stellar humans, it just may enable our success in any endeavor. In this powerful episode of the Better Human Project, Mark discusses success, the importance of stewardship, listening, relationships, parenting and more.

Show NotesMastery, Listening and Stewardship with Mark Kubr

  • “You never know when freedom will be taken away from you.” Mark shares his family’s history and essential life skills he learned from his parents. (3:28)
  • How Mark’s unique eye as a photographer landed him magazine covers – and devastated one wedding party, causing him to quit shooting – he refuses to pick up a camera to this day. (6:18)
  • “Sit down, shut up and listen what people have to say.” The importance of listening to build success habits and be a better human being. (9:36)
  • “It’s breathtaking. We knew we were doing something special.” Mark describes the monumental task of coordinating the “freeway scene” from La La Land and how they pulled it off. (13:20)
  • “Communication is becoming a lost art.” Mark’s advice on mastering the people skills we need to be better in all aspects of our lives. (18:45)
  • When all the make-up comes off, you are just a human. The importance of acknowledging all people no matter their position or stature. (25:50)
  • How surfing enabled Mark to build confidence and self-esteem. (28:35)
  • The strategies he implemented to not let stress get the best of the cast during the filming of La La Land. (31:15)
  • How Mark’s surfing prowess led him to befriending – and living with – Eddie Van Halen. (34:15)
  • Tips to #BeBetter #DoBetter from Mark (38:25)

Featured Guest

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned


 

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BHP 012: Tarzan and Sprout | Acro Yoga, Play, Connection and Communication

Santa Monica, California – 5 minutes after I met Nicolas Coolridge I was suspended in midair, hanging from his body with no safety net.

I didn’t even know his name was Nicolas until we grabbed food after our Acro Yoga session on Muscle Beach.

An American Ninja Warrior mainstay, Tarzan, as Nicolas is known (and how he introduces himself), is perhaps the most famous Acro Yoga enthusiast in a rapidly growing community of movement fanatics.

Within 5 minutes of meeting each other, we were supporting each other in gravity-defying Acro Yoga poses that had us communicating, working together, laughing, and… touching.
 
 
My experience in meeting Tarzan is not unique, and it highlights his passion for Acro and his ability to make instant connections while sharing and spreading the sport of Acro Yoga.
 
We caught up with Tarzan and his acro partner, Dana – aka AcroSprout to talk about the sport of Acro Yoga, the power of human connection, play, communication, teamwork, and much more.
 

Show Notes Ep. 12 – Acro Yoga Stars Tarzan and Sprout talk Human Connection, Play, Communication and the Power of Self-Expression.

  • How to balance social media and real life when you use social media to make a living: Feeling connected to your following versus how to truly be in the moment in your life. (5:25)
  • How a health scare forced Dana to take her health into her own hands, why she met with multiple doctors until she found the right one for her, and how to do your own research when it comes to your own body & health. (10:07)
  • “I have got it down to a science with my own body and everything I do.” Success tips and routines from Tarzan that he implements each and every morning. (18:00)
  • The accident that left Tarzan homeless and lucky to be alive…. (24:34)
  • The power of Acro Yoga (and why it’s great for relationships): communication, trust, teamwork, self-expression and human connection. (34:48)
  • “We love to teach fun.” – How you can get started with Acro Yoga and accomplish new feats. (46:00)
  • The upcoming Acro Yoga Van Trip across the US. (50:18)
  • Tips to #BeBetter #DoBetter with Dana and Tarzan. (56:30)
    • There is always a positive way to look at anything and everything.
    • Always be kind, you do not know what other people are going through.
    • Express your true self and be you.
    • Don’t let your ego get the best of you.

Featured Guest(s)

  • Nicholas Coolridge (@moderntarzan) • Instagram | Website
  • Dana, aka Acro Sprout (@acrosprout) • Instagram | Website

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

  • Scott Dolly (@sd.evolution) • Instagram

 

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BHP 011: Darlington Martor | Anything Is Everything

Born into the chaos of civil war and genocide in Liberia, Darlington Martor’s childhood gave him a unique perspective on life, gratitude, and being a better human.

While his experience may seem extraordinary to us, it’s an all-too-common story for many families around the world. And Darlington is one of the lucky ones – he survived, came to the US, played college soccer, received an education and now has dedicated his life to helping others. 

His day job with The James Irvine Foundation allows him to write and distribute grants to California-area families and businesses that need help while his side hustle, Anything Is Everything is a charity that gives back to his home nation of Liberia.

Through AIE, Darlington has already shipped multiple 20 foot cargo containers full of goods and supplies to Liberia where he hand delivers the items, organizes youth soccer teams, and is working to build an Academy that will empower the Liberian youth and forever change his home nation. 

On this powerful episode of the Better Human Project, Darlington talks about escaping ethnic cleansing and starvation, life in Refugee Camps, the problems with and corruption in many charitable organization, and how his own charity, Anything Is Everything is taking on these challenges to ensure he makes the impact he (and all donors) want to make.

** Anything Is Everything is our March partner for the BHP and our donations this month will help D make a massive impact in people’s lives. You can help make an impact here. **

Show Notes: Anything is Everything with Darlington Martor

  • Darlington describes what it’s like to grow up in the middle of a Civil War and ethnic cleansing in Liberia. (4:12)
  • “I always hoped for the best and expected the worst.” (11:50)
  • Family is the core of everything. He talks about his family upbringing, moving around and his personal tale of being malnourished. (14:40)
    • People find a way to survive, human beings find a way.
  • How Darlington was able to come to the US and the struggles he faced along that journey. (25:35)
  • Why seeing UNICEF trucks in the refugee camps inspired Darlington’s current philanthropic endeavors. (32:35)
  • Paying it forward and repaying the acts of kindness of the people who helped us. (38:45)
  • Learning by doing – how D planted the seeds and created relationships to gather supplies to give back to those in need. (44:30)
  • The problems with most donation models and what we can do to ensure that our efforts reach who we’re passionate about helping. (53:30)
  • How we can all use our unique experiences to our advantage. (1:02:10)
  • Give kids the opportunity and path. D’s vision for the Anything Is Everything Academy. (1:08:42)
  • The difference between Anything Is Everything and most large “charity” organizations: while they mean well, most fail to realize true impact when they don’t put people in place that know the area. (1:12:35)
  • Developing mental toughness through our struggles. (1:27:50)
  • Darlington’s Top Tips to be a Better Human. (1:32:30)
    • Authenticity – don’t change yourself based on the environment you are in
    • Master the Double H: Humanity and Humbleness

Featured Guest

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned


 

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BHP 10: Caveman Coffee | Personal Growth + Social and Digital Footprints

Tait Fletcher and Lacie Mackey may go down in history as some of the best guests to ever appear on the Better Human Project.

This was an incredible conversation with some amazing humans.

Tait, Lacie, Ryland and I spent nearly 2 hours drinking coffee in the BHP RV on a beautiful Sunday morning in Venice, California discussing coffee, business ethics, personal growth, my book – F*ck Your Feelings, and managing social media and our digital footprints. The best part…we recorded it all!

Show Notes: Better Human Project #10 with Tait Fletcher and Lacie Mackey of Caveman Coffee

  • Tait’s reaction to reading my book, F*ck Your Feelings and how it hooked him right away. (4:07)
  • Ryan explains states and traits, the process of writing his book and where the inspiration came from. (11:05)
  • It’s all kindness and practice. Meditation experiences with Ram Dass and the importance of clearing your mind to understand it all. (19:50)
  • Create a discipline and do that throughout your whole life. How to pick your thing and become the master of it. (30:08)
  • If you cannot take care of the eco-system of your body, how can others trust what you are saying? Practical ways to improve yourself and people skills needed to succeed. (38:20)
  • Important to know what a tool is and what is you. Learning the art of balancing the doing. (41:40)
  • Pirate your life back. The message behind their brand and how that carries over to the Caveman Coffee business standards. (53:00)
  • Success strategies. The importance of working directly with the farmers to provide the highest quality products to the consumer. (1:14:40)
  • What is your convenience costing you? The value of voting with your dollar and supporting the things you love. (1:19:08)
  • Tait & Lacie’s Top 2 Tips to Be A Better Human (1:31:30)
    • Travel and read – If you want success, you need to immerse yourself in the culture to the best of your ability.
    • Taking care of yourself to improve your performance in all aspects of your life.
  • Top 2 Tips To Do Better as a human being: Taking responsibility for your own surroundings/digital footprint, staying quiet and doing the work on you. (1:44:25)

Featured Guest

  • Caveman Coffee Co.
  • Tait Fletcher (@TaitFletcher) · Twitter & Instagram
  • Lacie Mackey (@lacie_mackey) • Instagram

Related Links/Products Mentioned

People Mentioned

  • Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) · Twitter
  • Chris Dancy (@chrisdancy) · Twitter
  • Peter Diamandis (@PeterDiamandis) · Twitter
  • Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) · Twitter
  • Duncan Trussell M.D. (@duncantrussell) · Twitter
  • Ram Dass (@BabaRamDass) · Twitter
  • Jack Kornfield (@JackKornfield) · Twitter
  • Trudy Goodman (@TrudyGoodman) | Twitter
  • Al Gore (@algore) · Twitter
  • Lindsey Mathews (@trainerlindsey) • Instagram
  • Mark_Sisson (@Mark_Sisson) · Twitter
  • Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) · Twitter