Good Life Project
How to Get Unstuck (a scientific take) | Adam Alter
Have you ever felt stuck in any part of your life? Trapped in a soul-sucking job, an unfulfilling relationship, a health, fitness or performance plateau, or a creative rut? What if there was a way to tap scientifically-validated principles to get unstuck, break free from the invisible forces holding you back and unleash your full potential? What if you could literally engineer breakthroughs? Turns out, you can.
Adam Alter joins us to discuss his new book Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most, which explores the often unavoidable experience of feeling stuck - whether it's a relationship, career, or health issue - and what we can do to turn stuckness into breakthrough. Adam shares strategies and mindset shifts to get unstuck and how simplifying and experimenting can ultimately help us make progress.
- Stuckness is an inevitable part of the human experience, especially for long-term goals that have a lull period in the middle. We become fixated on the end goal and overlook the journey.
- When stuck, people feel anxious, confused, isolated, and like their struggles are unique even though stuckness is universal. It leads to a flailing response that doesn't help.
- The first step is managing emotions by taking down the pressure and slowing down. Only then can you start to think strategically about how to move forward.
- Hitting plateaus is natural due to the plateau effect - constant methods become less effective over time. Anticipating plateaus and chunking large goals into smaller ones helps navigate through them.
- Failure is also inevitable but we have different cultural baggage around failure depending on the domain. The key is to reframe failure as learning rather than a stain on your character.
- Conducting a "friction audit" - identifying and removing obstacles - can reduce stuckness, especially if done periodically.
- Simplicity trumps complexity when stuck - focus on the 1-2 most important factors that will make the biggest difference now.
- Experimentation, exploration, and luck also play a role in breakthroughs. Being more exploratory increases serendipity.
- Surrounding yourself with different types of people, including those who challenge you, can enrich your life.
If you LOVED this episode you’ll also love my January episode on the power of success scaffolding to achieve incredible visions.
Check out our offerings & partners:
- My New Book Sparked
- My New Podcast SPARKED
- Visit Our Sponsor Page For a Complete List of Vanity URLs & Discount Codes.
View all episodes
The Science of Memory & How to Keep It | Charan Ranganath01:07:27Can memory improvement unlock a better life? Neuroscientist Charan Ranganath reveals how memory intertwines with happiness, relationships, creativity, and meaning. In his new book Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory's Power to Hold on to What Matters, Charan shares research on how memories form, the role of sleep, aging's effects, and practical ways to remember what matters. Learn how to harness your brain’s memory systems for personal growth and fulfillment. Discover techniques to preserve precious moments, let go of trauma, and pursue your passions. If you want to experience deeper connections and find more purpose, don’t miss this fascinating tour of memory’s power from a leading expert.You can find Charan at: X | Instagram | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Bessel van der Kolk, MD about how memory, trauma and movement work together.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED.Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Connect Quickly & Deeply With Anyone | Charles Duhigg59:22What if you could communicate effortlessly with anyone, instantly establishing trust and connection? According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg, author of the new book Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, the most compelling communicators don't possess any magical talents. They've simply mastered the hidden rules that govern how we connect through conversation. Learn techniques to identify the 3 types of exchanges occurring simultaneously in every interaction. Discover how vulnerability and "deep listening" forge bonds of trust. Gain insight into dissolving conflict through empathy. Whether one-on-one or on stage, communication can change lives. This research-backed episode reveals the science of forging genuine understanding.You can find Charles at: Website | Instagram | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had on our partner podcast, SPARKED with Ben Guttmann about how to communicate simply and clearly.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Hack Your Blood Sugar & Feel Amazing | Jessie Inchauspé01:00:37Want to cut cravings, boost energy, and take control of your health? Biochemist and bestselling author Jessie Inchauspé shares surprising hacks to steady your blood sugar in this fascinating conversation. Learn how timing sweets, pairing carbs with fat/protein, and starting your day without sugar can work wonders. Jessie busts myths around whole grains and fruit while translating complex science into simple, sustainable habits. Discover how to eat the foods you love in a healthier way from her groundbreaking book The Glucose Goddess Method: The 4-Week Guide to Cutting Cravings, Getting Your Energy Back, and Feeling Amazing. If you struggle with rollercoaster energy, cravings, or poor sleep - this episode is for you. Jessie empowers listeners with innovative ways to minimize glucose spikes and gain control of your health. Her passion for optimizing blood sugar shines as she reveals how tiny tweaks can help you feel your absolute best.You can find Jessie at: Website | Instagram | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Dr. Aviva Romm about how our hormones influence our health.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Feel Like You Matter | Isaac Prilleltensky54:05What if mattering could be the key to living your best life? Psychologist Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky joins us to unpack the profound human need for mattering. Isaac explains the two components of mattering—feeling valued and adding value. Discover how cultivating mattering through fairness, purpose, and small generous acts can transform health, happiness, work, and relationships. Learn why extremism rises when mattering is lacking, and how finding meaning by contributing to something bigger than yourself is the antidote. Get Isaac’s practical tips for taking responsibility to add value, listen generously, and promote wellness in yourself and society.You can find Isaac at: Website | LinkedIn | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Robert Waldinger about meaning and life.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Make "Life-changing" Friendships (and why they matter) | Rhaina Cohen54:37What if your closest friendships were just as significant as your marriage? My fascinating guest Rhaina Cohen, author of The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center, reveals compelling research on how profound platonic bonds can provide the same fulfillment and devotion as romantic ones. Tune in to hear Rhaina's eye-opening stories that reimagine social connection. We explore how to nurture deeper intimacy in friendships and move beyond limiting cultural biases. Discover practical tools to cultivate lifelong platonic partnerships that are just as central to living a good life as romantic love. This surprising conversation will transform your understanding of relationships.You can find Rhaina at: Website | Instagram | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Kat Vellos about how to plant the seeds of grown-up friendship.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Open Hearts & Change Minds | Blair Imani01:03:58After following in her activist parents' footsteps, Blair Imani reached her breaking point organizing protests in college. She shares how rediscovering spirituality helped her let go of toxic expectations and heal. Blair realized education was a more sustainable way for her to impact change as a historian and creator of the popular Smarter In Seconds educational video series. She discusses learning self-care, listening to your values when making decisions, and embracing practices like yoga and meditation. While still devoted to intersectional advocacy, Blair now approaches it with intention, only taking on projects aligning with her ethics. She offers insights on finding calm within chaos and being mindful of how your actions affect others. Blair is the author of the bestselling book Read This to Get Smarter.You can find Blair at: Instagram | Website | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Austin Channing Brown, about how we create the world around us and how we bring ourselves to it from a place of equity, dignity, and justice.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED.Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Get the Sleep You Need (a Scientific Approach) | Chris Winter, MD01:06:10Do you ever feel like you barely slept even after a full night in bed? You're not alone. Sleep expert Dr. Christopher Winter reveals the truth about the perception gap between how we think we're sleeping and reality. Discover science-backed techniques to get better rest, change your mindset around sleep, and stop obsessing over routines. Dr. Winter shares insights from his book The Sleep Solution and busts myths around optimal sleep needs. Learn how to ditch the anxiety around sleep and become the well-rested person you aspire to be. This candid conversation provides practical steps anyone can take to transform their relationship with sleep.You can find Chris at: Website | Instagram | Sleep Unplugged podcast | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Dr. Aric Prather about the fundamentals of sleep hygiene.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. To submit your “moment & question” for consideration to be on the show go to sparketype.com/submit. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
How to Bring More Pleasure into Life (and Sex) | Emily Nagoski01:09:02Sex educator Emily Nagoski reveals how to sustain passionate intimacy over the long haul with research from her groundbreaking new book, Come Together: The Science (and Art!) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections.She explains why pleasure trumps desire, how stress impacts connection, and the importance of open communication about desires. Emily offers practical steps to invite more pleasure into relationships as bodies change, and rejects cultural grind in favor of ease. Her insights on nourishing intimacy through pleasure can enrich partnerships when we center what truly matters. You can find Emily at: Website | Instagram | Episode TranscriptIf you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Vanessa Marin about how to talk about sex.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKEDVisit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes
January Jumpstart | On Belonging01:02:18This January Jumpstart episode explores how we can rediscover our deepest sense of belonging within. Zen priest Rev. angel Kyodo williams and spiritual leader Melissa Carter share how embracing all of ourselves allows us to fully inhabit our humanity. By returning to our inner wholeness through mindfulness, we can move through the world from a place of truth, connect authentically with others, and transform society.Episode TranscriptYou can find Rev. angel Kyodo williams at: Instagram | Website | Listen to Our Full-Length Convo with Rev. angelYou can find Melissa at: Find Melissa Online Here | Instagram | Listen to Our Full-Length Convo with MelissaWe want to hear from YOU! Record your responses to the challenge or questions you have along the way and email them to email@example.com. We may include your reflections in an episode.If you LOVED this episode Find all of the January Jumpstart - Your 2024 Good Life Awakening episodes.Check out our offerings & partners: My New Book SparkedMy New Podcast SPARKED. Visit Our Sponsor Page For Great Resources & Discount Codes