Brilliant's Blog

A Celebration of Life

An Honest Prayer

The Merton Prayer is a humble and moving expression of prayer.  It’s found in Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude. Merton was an American monk who explored Eastern thought as part of his his study of mystic practice. He was one of the first Western religious thinkers to initiate dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures,…

The Question I’ve Used to Start More than 100 Podcast Interviews

“What’s life about?” It’s my favorite question for Uber drivers and podcast guests. I’ve opened every one of my School for Good Living Podcast interviews over the last three years with it. That’s because when I meet someone, I want to know how they see the world, how their mind works and…

The Six Words I Say Each Morning without Fail

I’m not a morning person. Believe me I’ve tried. (Sorry Miracle Morning.) For the better part of my life, if I was ever awake to see 5AM, or the sun rise, or to hear the birds begin chirping, it was probably because I’d stayed up all night. In other words,…

Letting Go of Possessions to Live a Simpler, Deeper Life

Best-selling author Ann Patchett has written a thoughtful essay called “How to Practice” that explores living, dying, and accumulating and letting go of possessions in between. Here are a couple of passages I found particularly insightful: “In any practice, there will be tests. That’s why we call it a practice—so we’ll…

A Challenging Yet Relaxing Game to Exercise Your Brain and to Help You Think without Thinking

When you’re dealing with a difficult situation or trying to solve a problem—especially one that requires you to think—trying harder or expending more effort can be counterproductive. When I find myself in that situation, I like to do something that puts my brain in neutral—what Barbara Oakley, author of Learning…

Need Help Overcoming Procrastination?

Every organism seeks to conserve energy. So if you find yourself judging yourself for procrastinating, simply realize that you’re doing what organisms do… exerting no more energy than you absolutely must. And then, with that bit of self-compassion, see if it helps to try the following: Flip the statement “I’ll…

Everything You Know about Obesity Is Wrong

Everything You Know about Obesity Is Wrong In the article linked above, Huffington Post journalist Michael Hobbes, co-host of the You’re Wrong About podcast writes, “Since 1980, the obesity rate has doubled in 73 countries and increased in 113 others. And in all that time, no nation has reduced its obesity rate….

For those Who Procrastinate Going to Bed

Do you stay up late and regret it the next day? If so, you’re not alone. In recent years, the term “revenge bedtime procrastination” has come to describe a phenomenon where overworked people stay up late in order to reclaim time for themselves. The downside, of course, is that they’re…

How to Find Great Books to Read

For many people, “What is your favorite book?” stands alongside questions like “Who are you?” and “What do you want on your tombstone?” as difficult questions to answer. Without exception, whenever I’ve read a book that someone has told me is their absolute, all-time favorite book, I too have enjoyed…

Learning to Live in the Long Now and the Big Here

I just finished Roman Krznaric’s excellent book The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking. In this book I learned about the Long Now Foundation, an organization whose website explains, “[We hope] to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to…

Tending the Garden of Your Mind

Tools to Help You Tend the Garden of Your Mind “Your mind is like a garden: whatever you plant will grow.” – Charles David Heineke Once you’ve seen something, you can’t unsee it. That’s why it’s important to be careful about what you see in the first place. To help…

A Big Thinker Who Encourages You to Nurture Those Crazy Ideas of Yours

Safi Bahcall is a second-generation physicist (the son of two astrophysicists) who sees and thinks about the world very differently from most people. Safi coined the term “loonshot,” “A neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged.” His book, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars,…

The Little Things That Reveal So Much

About five years ago I made the life-changing decision to attend Tony Robbins’ six-day flagship seminar Date with Destiny. You might have seen the documentary Netflix released about Tony—shot at that same seminar—called I am Not Your Guru. Prior to signing up, I’d never done any of Tony’s programs, hadn’t…

Some Ideas For Navigating The Tumult Of 2021

As I write this, Wednesday afternoon, the top headline on Washington Post’s site is “Pro-Trump mob storms Capitol building.” You, like me, might have naively thought that we’d left the tumult and uncertainty of 2020 behind simply because the calendar rolled forward to “2021.” But this is clearly not the…

A Board to Help You Improve Your Overall Health and Balance

A balance board, says Wikipedia, is a device used as a circus skill, for recreation, balance training, athletic training, brain development, therapy, musical training and other kinds of personal development. I recently began using an Indo Board after reading about the benefits that flow researcher Steven Kotler has found from…

A Treasure Trove of Questions to Help You Really Get to Know Your Loved Ones

Great questions and great listening make for great conversations, especially when we’re talking to friends and family—people we think we know. To help you ask great questions, check out this list created by StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a non-profit organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from…

Your Invitation to Be, Do, Have & Give More – Join SGL’s Winter Victory Circle

Have you discovered the great work of your life? Are you doing it? Do you have a big goal you want to realize? Maybe you want to do something like publish a book, launch a startup or charitable foundation, or become a doctor, a farmer, astronaut or coach. If so,…

A Story about Finding My Passion by Meeting Scores of People Who Already Had

Nearly ten years ago, I attended an event produced by Summit, a global community of entrepreneurs, academics, athletes, artists, astronauts, authors, chefs, engineers, explorers, philanthropists, spiritual leaders, scientists and beyond. At the time, I was none of those things. In fact, I didn’t really know who I was, what I…

The Cheeseburger that Changed my Worldview Forever

Middle school health class opened my eyes about so many things. And although the lessons about puberty, maturation and the human reproductive system permanently expanded my mind, it was a lesson about nutrition that truly changed the way I look at the world. In one class, our teacher pointed out…

What the Trans-Siberian Highway Taught Me about Getting Where I Want to Go

In 2010, I drove with four friends from London to Ulaanbaatar as part of the Mongol Rally. The event’s organizers describe it as “Motoring stupidity on a global scale.” For this rally, there’s no support team, no set route and no guarantee you’ll arrive safely (or at all). Our journey…

How and Why I Became a Coach

As we go through life, sometimes we get stuck and need a little help. Other times we get lost and need a bit of direction. And occasionally we even find ourselves wishing we could blow up everything about our lives (or maybe just one thing) and start over entirely. That…

5 More Podcasting Lessons from 100 Author Interviews over 2½ Years

You have gifts and talents. To a large degree, your happiness—and the contribution you make to others—is determined by whether or not you share your gifts and talents. And believe it or not, your happiness does not depend on making a living or becoming famous or even widely recognized by…

4 Podcasting Lessons from 100 Author Interviews over 2½ Years

You learn to swim by swimming. You learn to create by creating. You learn to give by giving. Below are four lessons I’ve learned about podcasting over the last two and a half years as I’ve created more than 100 episodes by interviewing authors. Many of these lessons apply to…

What I Learned about Finding the Right Path by Taking a Wrong Turn

Like me, you’ve probably learned A LOT from classrooms, seminars and books. Maybe too much. 🙂 In recent years I’ve endeavored to learn more directly from nature, indigenous traditions, the breath and body, and mysticism. That’s why it was such a privilege when Sadhguru invited me to ride motorcycles with…

The Journal Entry that Transformed Matthew McConaughey’s Life

On the evening of September 1st, 1992, Matthew McConaughey lay on the top bunk in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house at the University of Texas at Austin. Before he nestled in for a good night’s sleep, he opened his journal and wrote, Ten Goals in Life: Become a father…

A Book—and Man—That’s Helped Me Access Deeper Dimensions of Life 

Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy is a book that changed my life. When I discovered it in 2016, I didn’t know who Sadhguru was, and I certainly had no idea how broadly I’d travel with him or how much he’d teach me. And it would never have happened…

A Story to Help You Develop Your Integrity Superpower

In the fall of 1968, a man named Don bought a truck from a dealership in Salt Lake City. As part of the transaction, Don paid for a trailer kit to be installed on the truck. When he called to see if it was ready for him to pick up,…

Having Strange Dreams? You’re Not the Only One

Having Strange Dreams? You’re Not the Only One Since the Pandemic started, many people report having more—and more bizarre and vivid—dreams than in pre-Covid times. Scientific American recently published an article called “The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing Our Dreams”. It explains, “anxiety about social distancing and infection is altering how…

A Podcast for People Who‘ve Experienced Sexual Abuse and Want to Heal

Tim Ferriss has shown millions of readers and podcast listeners the way to design their lives in ways they love. His latest podcast, he says, is the most important one he’s ever produced—and that’s saying something given the caliber of people he’s interviewed.  In it, in conversation with author and…

Mark Divine Blog Post

How a Friend’s Intuition Saved His Life

It was an early morning, and cold enough to see your breath. Mark heard a loud “crack!” and felt a bullet whiz past his ear, so close he could feel the wind as it flew by. He turned to find Chris, a fellow special forces operator, pointing a 9mm pistol…

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