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Finding Mastery
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Finding Mastery

Author: Dr. Michael Gervais

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I’ve been in the trenches with some of the best performers in the world – some who shift how we conceive what’s possible — others who have pushed their own boundaries — ranging from hall of fame athletes to action sport game-changers, entrepreneurs, Mixed Martial Artists, to musicians who influence the rhythm of the world. I’m Dr. Michael Gervais, and I’m excited to decode the many paths toward mastery and provide applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives.
199 Episodes
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This week’s conversation is with Emmy Award winning journalist, Jemele Hill.Jemele is the co-founder of Lodge Freeway Media and a Senior Staff writer for The Atlantic.She was previously the chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture.Prior to joining The Undefeated, Jemele co-anchored SportsCenter with Michael Smith.In August 2018, the National Association of Black Journalist awarded Jemele with Journalist of the Year Award and in July 2016, Jemele participated in The President and the People: A National Conversation – a one-hour town hall with President Barack Obama on race relations, justice, policing and equality.Jemele also recently debuted a new podcast on Spotify, called Jemele Hill is Unbothered.Unbothered explores the news of the day and the intersectionality between the worlds of sports, politics, music, identity and culture.In this conversation we touched on so many important topics – everything from courage, vulnerability, and honesty to why this world could use more empathy.I loved getting a chance to sit down with Jemele and think you’ll feel the same way after hearing her story. --------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with inventor and entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell.In 1972 Nolan Bushnell created an industry when he founded Atari and gave the world Pong, the first blockbuster video game.Today his design credo—that games should be “easy to learn and difficult to master”—is inspiring a new generation of developers.A prolific entrepreneur, Bushnell has started more than 20 companies, including Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater, Catalyst Technologies, the first Silicon Valley incubator, and Etak, the first in-car navigation system.In the process, he pioneered many of the workplace innovations that have made Silicon Valley a long- standing magnet for creative talent.Bushnell was the first and only person ever to hire Steve Jobs, which he details in his 2013 book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs.His latest startups are ModalVR, which offers wireless, multiplayer VR entertainment systems for turn-key commercial use, and X2 Games, an independent game publisher focused on Blockchain Technology.A true icon of the digital revolution, Bushnell was named one of “50 People Who Changed America” by Newsweek.Currently a biopic about Bushnell, tentatively titled “Atari”, was acquired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company and is in pre- production.Nolan is an absolute legend and I can’t wait for you to learn from him.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with NBA stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love and it’s unique.It comes from a live panel we did at Aspen Ideas Festival a few weeks back.Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.I was invited to host a panel on mental health in sports.Earlier this year, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs, each publicly discussed their challenges with mental and emotional well-being.Their honesty started a national conversation about breaking through the stigma and fear of openly discussing mental health issues in professional sports.In this very personal conversation, the superstar athletes share their experiences with anxiety, depression, and loneliness.What they reveal about mental health actually reveals much about their mental strength.I hope this is only the beginning of an era where athletes and for that matter anyone – across any walk of life – has the courage to be vulnerable and have those difficult conversations.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Vicki Golden, a professional freestyle motocross rider and four-time X Games gold medalist.Vicki is the first female member of the SoCal freestyle motocross team Metal Mulisha and also performs in Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus Tour.In 2008, at age 16, she became the Loretta Lynn's AMA Women's Amateur Champion.Three years later, she earned her first gold medal at the Women's Moto X Racing in the Summer X Games and collected her second and third gold medals in 2012.In addition to becoming the first female competitor in a Moto X freestyle competition, (which resulted in a bronze medal win in the best whip category in 2012), Vicki was nominated for the ESPY's Best Female Action Sports Athlete award in 2014.In March of this year, Vicki laid it down again in Auckland, New Zealand when she landed her first ever FMX backflip off the 15-foot Next Level ramp, ranking her as the only woman who has flipped one of the largest FMX ramps in the world.I had the fortune of speaking with Vicki only a few days before she performed a record-breaking stunt on HISTORY's Evel Live 2 where she sped through a series of flaming wooden boards.She was the first female to break the record which was set back in 2006.You’ll get a chance to hear how Vicki prepared for this stunt and what was going through her mind in the days leading up to it.I’ve always had a deep appreciation for those who perform in the world of extreme sports, pushing at the edges of their capacity, where there are real consequences when things go wrong.We touch on that in this conversation as well.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Jermaine Jones, a German-American soccer player who played as a defensive midfielder for most of his career.Born in Frankfurt, Germany to an American father and German mother, he came up through the German club system and represented Germany at the U21 and senior level.He later filed for a switch to the United States making his debut in 2010 and played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.Playing in multiple countries has given Jermaine a unique perspective on what makes a great soccer player and that’s something we touch on in this conversation.What is it that makes the rest of the world more competitive than the United States when it comes to Men’s soccer?Jermaine believes it comes to down to embracing pressure and being resilient.This is one of the reason’s he recently started up Define Sports and Entertainment Agency, focused on developing American soccer talentJermaine is real, he’s got an edge, and I think that stands out in this conversation.In Jermaine’s words: “I just want to be myself. I don't want to switch, I don't want to change for anybody. I want to be myself, I want to be respected, I want to give people the respect they deserve ... to treat them how I want to be treated.”--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer and shark attack survivor.Bethany has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope.At the age of 13, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her career as a rising surf star.One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within two years had won her first national title.Think about that for a second. She was back in the water within a month!We all experience trauma -- some on a greater scale than others, but what's special about Bethany is her response to that trauma -- and that's why I wanted to talk to her.In 2007, Bethany realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then, her story has been told in a New York Times best selling autobiography and in the 2011 film, Soul Surfer.Bethany’s latest project, Unstoppable, a surf documentary showcasing her career is in theatres now and I highly recommend checking it out!--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Matthew Walker, a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.He is also the lead sleep scientist at Google.Matthew has received numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.His research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease.Matthew is also the author of the International Bestseller, Why We Sleep, which has sold over 1½ million copies worldwide, having been translated into 34 different languages.In this conversation, we focus specifically on Matthew’s deep body of knowledge when it comes to sleep.I wanted to dig deep and better understand the nuances of sleep… how does it impact our overall health, how can we sleep better, and what can you do if you feel like your suffering from a sleep related disease.As I’ve mentioned previously, gone are the days in professional sport and business where it’s cool to brag about how little sleep you’re functioning off of and I hope this further brings to light how critical sleep is for just about every facet of life. --------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Georges "Rush" St-Pierre, also known as “GSP,” a Canadian professional mixed martial artist and UFC world champion who holds black belts in both Kyokushin karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.Georges is recognized as one of the planet's best pound-for-pound MMA fighters and all around athlete.He retired from the sport on December 13, 2013, holding the UFC record for most wins in title bouts.Georges then returned to the octagon after a four-year layoff, on November 4, 2017 at UFC 217 in New York City, where he defeated Michael Bisping by submission in the third round to win the UFC Middleweight Championship title, becoming the fourth fighter in the history of the organization to be a multi-division champion.On December 7, 2017, after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, Georges vacated his UFC middleweight title and officially announced his retirement from professional MMA competition on February 21, 2019.I found this conversation fascinating and I think you’ll be surprised to learn that while Georges may arguably be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, he actually doesn’t really like to fight.Wild.Georges also shares why the key to his sustained success is also the same thing that drove him into retirement.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Dierdre Wolownick, the mother of legendary adventure rock climber Alex Honnold.You may recognize him from this year’s Academy Award Winning film, Free Solo, where he became the first person to ever free-solo El Capitan in Yosemite.Alex was a previous guest on this podcast, episode 108.I wanted to speak with his mother Dierdre for a couple of reasons.First, Alex was one of the more challenging interviews I’ve ever had on this podcast.Everything just seemed so matter of fact to him.One thing I hope you’re noticing from listening to these conversations is how much one’s upbringing (their parenting structure and environment) dictate who they become and why they do what they do so I thought who better to have a follow up conversation with then Alex’s mother.Second of all, Dierdre’s own story is quite incredible.Inspired by her daughter, Stasia, Dierdre began long-distance running at the age of fifty-five, and she has since completed several marathons, as well as numerous half-marathons and other races.At fifty-eight, she took up rock climbing with her son, Alex, and at the age of sixty-six, she became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan, the iconic 3,200-foot granite wall in Yosemite National Park.Dierdre’s award-winning writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and books worldwide, and she created a publishing company that sells internationally.aShe just published her first book, The Sharp End of Life: A Mother's Story, where she shares her intimate journey, revealing how her climbing achievement reflects a broader story of courage and persistence.I think you’ll be fascinated by this conversation.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
This week’s conversation is with Matthew Futterman, the deputy sports editor of The New York Times.He has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, where he was a part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News in 2005.Matthew grew up in Larchmont, New York, and eventually found his way to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.One of his deep passions in life is running for long distances.While we do discuss running, this conversation is more about how he uses his inner life to help others do the same, whether that's through his journalism at the New York Times or through his new book, Running to the Edge.At its core, the book is more about insights and strategies toward improvement as a human, than it is about running tactics.I've had the privilege of being interviewed by Matt, when he was at the Wall Street Journal and since then, I've followed his work.He was one of the rare folks who've been able to capture the spirit of what I want to communicate about how people can flourish in life.--------------Please support our partners!We're able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!Click here for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.
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Comments (7)

Tom Farmer

What an intense, inspiring and unexpected story! I listen to your Finding Mastery podcast quite often while riding the light rail commuter train to work in San Jose. This story and Brenda touched me deeply. I even had tears in my eyes at one point. A lump in my throat the rest of the time. I wish I could get my 20 year old daughter to listen to this story as I believe she would benefit from it.

Mar 26th
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Dan Rioux

Michael, as you know I love your podcast. but this one has been the best. you guys were very engaged, you let it flow, I cried, laughed, and took notes!!! how does that happen on one single podcast? bottle what you did here and repeat!!!!

Nov 17th
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Jennyfer Perdomo

thank you for this . will help me grow

Nov 1st
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Alissa Johnson

90% of your guests are male. I would like a more gender-balanced guest list.

Oct 19th
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Nelson Macias

buenos, sé zzt y tu familiaz

Aug 22nd
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Lauren Chemplavil

I grew up in New England and was an age group swimmer there the same time as Erik, and can remember his work ethic as being legendary at that time (I'm shuddering thinking about a set of 30×1000s). I also remember meeting him once and was just the nicest guy, and that was reflected here. It's been so fun to watch his career end inspiring to hear his story as he transitioned to life after swimming. Great episode!

Aug 16th
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Golden Whale

?

Jul 31st
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