I’ve been thinking about the stories, figures of speech, and memes that guide our days and keep us firmly entrenched in identities and labels. Whether I knew it or not, a guiding tale for much of my life was that I was a serial quitter. Whenever I did something new, I unknowingly set a timer for four months, and when it went off, I was usually onto the next thing already. Maybe you see yourself through a lens of accomplishments or failures. Or you define your life by figures of speech that people repeat ad nauseam, like “stay in your lane” or “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” None of these things are bad, but they can keep us stuck, so I want to ask: When was the last time you reexamined your potential and made changes accordingly?
How can you think differently every day? How can you create environments of peace? How do you define peace? These are just a few deep questions that can jumpstart conversations courtesy of today’s guest, Diana Cutaia, who sees the world through a lens of curiosity and change. Diana founded Coaching Peace in 2012 to create positive and safe cultures that empower its members to lead with empathy and understanding. In this conversation, we discuss curiosity’s role in changing systems, connecting to other people’s joy, and how the lessons of a life in sports translate into the business world. Diana shares stories from her time playing and coaching sports, how to adjust to adversity, why we need to listen to our bodies, and the balance between drive and peace. If you are driven to succeed at all costs and want to find a new, healthier way, then Diana has some insights for you.
‘Tis the season for another monologue about doubt. When I searched the podcast archives for doubt, last November came up, and it was examining the positive nature of doubt. I’m not sure what it is about the end of the year. Maybe it’s a change of seasons (a great song by Dream Theater) or the compound effects of exhaustion. But honestly, it’s probably part of the creative process, especially when pushing into new mediums. I just don’t feel it until the end of the year when life slows down. What if doubt has nothing to do with what you are doing but an indication of what you need? More grace and less tough love. Compassion, rest, and freedom to explore your curiosities.
How would your life be different if you gave yourself permission to be great? Today’s guest not only asks that question but also explores the narratives, stories, and memes around us that impact our lives. K-Rahn Vallatine is an author, curriculum developer, and executive director of Live Above The Hype. In this conversation, we explore greatness and self-sabotage in the pursuit of our vision. We also talk about shattering narratives with forward movement, surrounding yourself with people who support your creative process, reaching people for who they are and not saving or fixing them, and his process of writing books. Finally, if you produce a lot of ideas and projects, K-Rahn shares a way to think about seasons of creation.
Over the weekend, I did something I usually don’t or even set out to do: I helped a friend film a wedding. Since it was a behind-the-scenes, documentary-style project, I said yes because I love to be a casual observer and documenter of life. We captured all the usual events surrounding a wedding, but it was during the reception that today’s monologue found its roots. The reception was on the Portland Spirit, a popular ship for sightseeing and events along the Willamette River. As I captured footage of people enjoying the party with appropriate levels of emotion, I heard a commotion on the other side of the ship. I walked toward the noise, missing whatever happened, but the people at the table attempted to recreate their excitement for my benefit. I would return to this group throughout the evening because they were fun. When I mentioned it, the response was simple: “It’s because this is the singles table.” They were the outcasts of the wedding; they knew it and were having a blast anyway.
When my wife and I got a pug last year, the algorithm inundated us with pug accounts, including Grumble Farm out of Canada. We loved seeing the pugs but also enjoyed learning more about the unbelievable beauty of British Columbia and getting to know Brandy and Jesse. Today’s guest is Brandy Chalmers, one of the two humans behind Grumble Farm. She’s here to talk about her journey as a content creator and how she shows up as her authentic self. In this conversation, we talk about her curiosity around a million things, the dehumanizing and fragmentizing nature of niching, the struggle with how much to share, the art of asking for what you want and need, and the mindset shift that occurred when she moved from the city to the country. Throughout, Brandy shares stories that illustrate a total commitment to living life.
When I interview people who have written a book, the typical response to my closing question—”What book, podcast, or resource is currently blowing your mind?”—is a form of: “I’m not reading or listening to anything right now. I don’t want to be influenced by someone else’s work.” I’ve always been intrigued by the notion that you could produce original work without external influence. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere without access to modern technology, the opportunity for influence is all around us in two ways: style and substance. Style is surface-level, the way things look; substance is much deeper. It’s the creator’s message, philosophy, beliefs, and intention. Instead of fearing influence, how can we provide attribution to style and substance and continue creating the work that matters to us?
It’s been a few years since I’ve thought about teams, but today’s guest opened the floodgates while simultaneously dismantling biases and explaining past negative experiences. Paul Crosby is one of the founders and the CEO of The Uncommon League, a training company that teaches people in unexpected ways to think, work, and learn differently. He’s also an author who has written several books on topics ranging from business analysis to positive conflict. In this conversation, Paul shares his curiosity about teams and how they work through friction, conflict, and collaboration. He also talks about The Uncommon League, how the name came about, and why they don’t settle for boring. We also touch on the importance of failure in growing in your life and work, how doubt is a natural component of the human experience, and the process he uses to write his books.
There’s something special about people who make decisions that go against the grain of societal expectations. Whether we make those decisions out of necessity, frustration, depression, or some other motivation is less important than the willingness to embark on a new journey. Today’s episode is inspired by a quote from an excellent book by Patrick Bringley, All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me. In the book, Bringley documents the loss of his brother to cancer, how he quit a dream job, and became a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for ten years. It’s worth your time to help you examine your life, look beyond what is obvious, and find what is hidden.
I believe that people come across your path when you need to learn from them. Today’s guest brings her tools and life story to Getting Work To Work to help those stuck and looking to create extraordinary lives. Maria Kellis is a leadership coach and teacher who is endlessly curious about the possibilities available to each of us. In this conversation, she dives into the four steps of what she calls “The Empower Game”: 1) Intention, 2) Clearing, 3) Gratitude, and 4) Trust in order to receive. Maria also shares her lessons in the power of gratitude while recovering from a broken back, body, and spirit. Not to mention how she discovered patience through discipline, her approach to routines that aren’t boring, systems of creativity and the power of teams, and scarcity versus abundance. Open your mind to the extraordinary life you want to create and listen in as Maria shares a lifetime of wisdom.