Broaden and build on a genetic level

Barbara Fredickson proposed the broaden and build theory in which she posits “that these positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought–action repertoire: joy sparks the urge to play, interest sparks the urge to explore, contentment sparks the urge to savour and integrate, and love sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within safe, close relationships.”

Her own experiments showed the powerful physiological response as illustrated below:

Now, research is showing that positive emotions impact on genetic level. When DNA was physically separated from the subject and the subject was then exposed to either Positive or Negative emotions, the DNA responded as well. With positive emotions, the DNA strands expanded. With negative emotions it contracts.


podcast of the week: Chip Conley @ The Tim Ferris Show

SO much good stuff going on in this episode featuring a man who’s midlife mission is to help others find meaning in their midlife through the Modern Elder Academy .Chip’s book, Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, distills his learnings from starting successful boutique chain and then helping grow Air BnB to the juggxrnaught it is today. He brings his wisdom and zest full on.

He shares approaches that have served him well like his Wisdom book: Every week he takes time to write what he learned this week. Of course he meditates. “But the simplest thing to do, I think of two things: It’s learning how to breathe. The thing that I do, that’s the Chip Conley little trademark, is I think of louvered windows in my forehead.” He asks the simplest question: “What business are we in?” Repeat the question at least five times, offering up different answers each time. You can do this on an individual level. “What mastery do you offer?” or “What mastery can you offer?”


Podcast of the week: Adam Savage @ The Tim Ferris Show

For 14 years; 1,015 myths; 2,950 experiments; eight Emmy nominations; and 83 miles of duct tape, Adam Savage regaled us with the scientific method as he and Jamie tacked various myths and movie magic: Which will keep you die walking or running in the rain? How does was escape a sinking car? Thee wee so many…and like all good things, it had to come to an end. Yet, he goes on: He has a book, aptly named Every Tool’s a Hammer, he is making bags out of sail cloths, and has a new show on Discovery: Savage Builds.

Yep, he build an iron man suit out of titanium and a  D printer with the gang at Colorado School of Mines.

As you may have guessed, Adam’s greatest strengths must be Creativity and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence . In this free wheeling interview in which he discusses his love of building and creating from Iron Man to sword scabbards to scrambled eggs, you get a sense of his Humor  and incredible Zest for life. This is a guy clearly playing to his strengths. None of that surprised me. I knew this would be a fun interview. What I did not expect was how insightful and down right profound he would be showcasing Perspective his as he s

It’s still very difficult for me to confront the fact that I’m a flawed human being. There’s still some part of me that thinks, “Oh, as long as I perform all these things correctly, everything will go smoothly.” The answer is, no. That’s fiction. Nothing will ever go smoothly. No plan ever survives first contact with implementation and we’re all going to screw up and feel unworthy at a very constant pace in our lives. That’s being a person. The trick is to be honest about that.

Podcast of the week: Seth Godin @ Akimbo

Akimbo is an ancient word, from the bend in the river or the bend in an archer’s bow. It’s become a symbol for strength, a posture of possibility, the idea that when we stand tall, arms bent, looking right at it, we can make a difference.

Akimbo’s a podcast about our culture and about how we can change it. About seeing what’s happening and choosing to do something.” So goes the introduction to Seth Godin’s contemplations on how the world works. This is not your usual podcast: No guests. No fancy production. Just Seth and his thoughts. His very well groomed thoughts. Seth is the thinker’s thinker. Author of 23 books, many best sellers, Seth has long been the go to person for all things marketing every since Purple Cow took the world by storm.

I have long been a fan, having read the said Purple Cow, Linchpin and Tribes (among others and watched his Ted Talks like How ideas spread:

Seth’s podcast listens like a series of essays. Really thoughtful essays. Episode 19, the Big Sort, gets to the heart of arranging. “People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.” Seth gets to the heart of our compulsion to organize, the incredible Discipline it takes.

All of Seth’s shows go beyond the topic at hand, giving incredible Context to listener.

Aikimbo will feed not just your Context but also your

Podcast of the week: Evan Carmichael @ James Altucher Show

My love affair with podcasts continues as I binge listen these past several days the James Altucher Show. James made a name for himself by being an early tech reporter, Hedge Fund Manager and serial entrepreneur and author, with 20 books to his credit. There could be many of the 400 episodes I recommend, but Evan Carmichael stands out for its positivity.

428 – Evan Carmichael: How to Shut Out the Negativity in Your Life and Maybe Get Huge on YouTube

I did not know Evan Carmichael, well not directly. Sure I had seen some of his youtube videos posted on facebook like Steve Job’s 10 Rules for Success:

or Oprah Winfrey’s Top 10 Rules For Success

or 5 PROVEN Ways to FIND Your True PURPOSE!

These make their way around motivational posts as Evan has over 1.7 Million Subscribers. All good great stuff. Evan distills the essence of success through carefully editing interesting and successful people’s stories from other video interviews. And he does it right, focusing on the positive, because that is the heart and soul of what he does and who he is. James and Evan were a fantastic pairing, two uber enthusiasts who love finding just one thing to give them an edge. And they love to share. This is their includer in action.

James is a very enjoyable interviewer. He has a way of connecting with his guest through making his own observations and interjections. Every episode I learn so much from James and his guests.

Strengths fed:

Podcast of the week: Shawn Achor @ Jordan Harbinger

I love podcasts–heck we all do. Now I thought I would shine the light on specific episodes that caught my ears. First up: Happiness Researcher, Shawn Achor being interviewed by Jordan Harbinger.

144: Shawn Achor | Why Success and Happiness Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

I first encountered Shawn (great name by the way) through his first work, the Happiness Advantage, a book of highly actionable ideas, as his subtitle suggests: “How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life.” Shawn has a gift at taking research and bringing i alive. He is even better in person:

In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.  His humor is part of why this has been viewed almost 20 Million times.

Jordan Harbinger unpacks with Shawn his new Book, Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being

Jordan doesn’t just skillfully interview Shawn, he enters into a a dialogue, looking for ways to help us understand why this matters and how to put it into action. Jordan’s show notes takes it a step further by adding a worksheet to help you take action on the big ideas presented during the conversation. Jordan is an incredible engaging conversationalist that makes his guests feel at ease.

Jordan’s show is well worth subscribing to and mining the back episodes.

Shawn has several books worth reading:

Strengths fed:


A fresh look at Gallup’s strengthsfinder themes

While Gallup has written definitions and action steps for each of its 34 themes, they do not always illustrate the point effectively. I have taken a stab at giving a more detailed explanation you can find here. The folks at Leadership Vision Consulting have done a wonderful job adding illumination through inclusion of real life examples culled from thousands of interviews over 16 years working with clients. They also focus on the generative aspect of the strength–ie how you can use this theme to make things happen. Check out yours:

achiever | activator | adaptability | analytical | arranger | belief | command |communication | competition | connectedness | consistency | context | deliberative |developer | discipline | empathy | focus | futuristic | harmony | ideation | includer | individualization | input | intellection | learner | maximizer | positivity | relator | responsibility | restorative | self-assurance | significance | strategic | woo

They also offer up a podcast that focuses specific episodes on the use of strengths.