What if you had dozens of the world’s top experts giving you advice about how to improve your life?
I’ve interviewed these experts and asked them for simple action items and easy first steps you can implement right now to create a big impact in your life. These are the top answers of over a hundred responses.
As the voice behind the popular podcast The Science of Success, I’ve received advice from some of the world’s most respected neuroscientists, psychologists, spy-recruiters, hostage negotiators and even astronauts.
At the end of every interview on the show – I ask our guests for one simple piece of homework for the listeners.
As a result, I’ve received over a hundred pieces of concrete actionable advice and specific first steps you can start to take right now to improve your life from some of the world’s top experts.
Here’s a list of my top eleven.
Build Your Challenge Network
Dr. Adam Grant – Wharton School Professor, Best-Selling Author
Building a challenge network of those you trust will lead to honest and constructive feedback, making everything you produce better. Listen to the full interview with Dr. Adam Grant here.
Understand What You Fear
Chris Hadfield – Astronaut Who Survived Going Blind in Outer Space
Dig into your fears – understand why they scare you and take concrete steps towards solving them. Listen to the full interview with Cmdr Chris Hadfield here.
Schedule Time For Deep Work (& Schedule Time For Play)
Dr. Cal Newport –Associate Professor at Georgetown University, Best Selling Author
There is a freedom that comes from scheduling both your productive time and your play time. Use the power of scheduling to create a schedule that unleashes your productivity and creativity. Listen to the full interview with Dr. Cal Newport here.
Journal About Your Happiest Experiences
Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar – Taught Harvard’s Most Popular Course Ever
Take some time for self-reflection and teach yourself what makes you the most happy. Simple self reflection like this can open up opportunities for finding more happiness in your life. Listen to the full interview with Dr. Tal Ben Shahar here.
Dig Into The Emotions You Push Aside
Dr. Susan David – Harvard Medical School Psychologist
A key piece of optimal performance is making peace with your emotions and discovering what your true values are. Listen to the full interview with Dr. Susan David here.
Understand People’s Priorities & Needs
Robin Dreeke – Former Counterintelligence Spy Recruiter
Focus on other people, how you can add value to them and how you can frame things in terms of their priorities and needs, and you will be a much more effective communicator. Listen to the full interview with Robin Dreeke here.
Ask Yourself – Is Your Technology Serving You Or Are You Serving It?
Nir Eyal – Author of NirandFar.com
We all spend too much time on our smart phones. Odds are, you’re probably reading this on a smart phone right now. Taking time to step back and understand your relationship with technology can help you put in place some simple safeguards to have a healthier relationship with your tech. Listen to the full interview with Nir Eyal here.
Spend a Moment to Notice the Behavior of Other People Around You
Chris Voss – Former FBI Hostage Negotiator, Author of Never Split The Difference
There is a wealth of information available in every interaction with someone. Noticing small things like body language, timing, eye movement, and much more can give you serious clues into their intentions and their behavior. Take it from a hostage negotiator who has to make these kinds of decisions when people’s lives are on the line – noticing the behavior of others can have a big impact. Listen to the full interview with Chris Voss here.
Develop Your Own Personal Philosophy
Dr. Michael Gervais – High Performance Psychologist
What’s important to you? What are your values? Why do you do what you do? Without goals, without values, without guideposts, we have no framework to organize and understand our own behavior. Listen to both interviews with Dr. Michael Gervais here and here.
Try Sleeping 8 Hours A Night For One Week
Dr. Matthew Walker – Founder of The Center for Human Sleep Science
There is a crisis of sleep deprivation in the western world. Sleeping less is not a badge of honor, its foolish. Mountains of research demonstrate that sleep has a positive relationship with nearly every good outcome you can think of, and lack of sleep directly relates to nearly every negative outcome you can imagine from infertility, to Alzheimer, to lack of productivity, and even “all cause mortality.” Listen to the full interview with Dr. Matthew Walker here.
Develop “Contemplative Routines” That Push You To Think More Deeply
Charles Duhigg – Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
Research shows that successful people cultivate contemplative routines like journaling and meditation so that they can think more deeply , focus their time and their priorities, and know what priorities are important. More work isn’t the answer, spend more time reflecting and thinking. Listen to the full interview with Charles Duhigg here.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you take the time to implement even a few of these strategies into your life – you will see a big impact.
These lessons are from some of the world’s top researchers and thinkers as well as people who have been in the trenches and survived everything from hostage crises to outer space disasters – what do you have to lose in giving them a shot?
Want To Get The Full List?
In this article I’ve shared only a handful of the strategies, tactics, and tips that my guests have shared over the last few years on The Science of Success. If you want to get the rest – sign up for our email list to get 101 Life Changing Action Steps You Can Start Right Now.