As most readers of this blog know, I am a huge fan of Dave Asprey and the high quality blog content, research, products, and podcasts he offers at Bulletproofexec.com. I am a total convert to Bulletproof coffee, so much so that I have placed it on my tight list of daily foundational practices. His coffee, infused with high-grade coconut oil and unsalted butter (from grass-fed cows), brings clarity and energy to the first five hours of my day. The podcasts on his website come close to making it to my list of foundational practices, too. He interviews experts from a wide range of disciplines on the science and the practices behind high performance and living well. To date, Asprey has produced 243 podcasts, and I have listened to every single one of them. The podcast link on his website is a college education in and of itself.
If you had asked me yesterday to name the best podcast he has produced, I don't think I could have done it. There are just so many good ones. But today, I can actually answer that question: podcast 243 with Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha’s Brain. It is a spectacular interview— interesting, informative, and inspiring for anyone wanting to install habits of mind that lead to happier, healthier, more creative, and more productive living.
If you want an introduction to the arenas of neuroscience and neuropsychology, the writing of Rick Hanson is a great place to begin deciphering these complex areas of study. It’s most accessible. His books offer a wealth of information on the science of the brain and how this science affects psychology. Almost all of my workshops include references to his work and explanation of his influences in my thinking. And if you are seeking concrete ways of working with your own mind to grow, improve, and enhance performance, I can't think of a better place to begin.
But if you don’t have time to read his books, this podcast is a great overview of his work. In the conversation with Asprey, Hanson addresses ideas like these:
Can we actually improve our level of happiness? What is happiness? Is the brain hardwired for negativity? Does meditation change the brain? How is new learning activated and then installed in the brain? How does the primitive brain work against us? How do we build mental resources for instigating change? How do we internalize positive experience. And oh-so-much more!
And then, at the end of the interview, Asprey asks Hanson the question that ends each of his interviews: "If you want to kick more ass in life, be better at everything, what three things would you recommend we do?" Rick Hanson’s answers distinguish themselves significantly from the kinds of things said in the previous 242 interviews.
I won't spoil your experience of hearing or reading the answer. Because even if you don't read the book, don't listen to the interview, and don't read the transcript of the interview, I urge you to go to minute 1:06:40 and listen to Rick Hanson's insightful and heartfelt answer to that question. You will feel better about yourself and more hopeful about your creative capacity for having spent five minutes with this wonderful teacher. Here’s the link again: go there now and begin hardwiring your happiness.