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MY TOP 10 FAVORITE PODCAST EPISODES

I sat down recently to take another look at my Top 10 list — it hadn’t been updated in years. The School of Greatness has over 1000 episodes, there have been so many amazing guests on this show and it’s hard to pinpoint which 10 episodes are my favorite, because all of them have impacted me in some way. From motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Eric Thomas. To actors like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Matthew McConaughey, or Maisey Williams. To unbelievable athletes like Kobe Bryant, Candace Parker and Maria Sharapova. 
 
As I sit here creating this list I am so grateful for my life and having had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s greatest minds. I’m excited to share them with you and I hope they impact you as much as they have impacted me. Here are my Top 10 Favorite Podcast Episodes:

1. Ethan Suplee

What does it take to lose over 250 pounds?

Anyone who has been on a fitness or weight loss journey can tell you — that’s not easy. And yet, Ethan Suplee managed to do it… twice.

At his heaviest, Ethan weighed more than 550 pounds. Regular scales weren’t able to weigh him properly, so he had to use shipping scales to get his accurate weight. For several years, Ethan felt defined by the number of pounds on the scale.

This man has struggled with weight for most of his life, and his insecurity and trauma surrounding his relationship with food even led him to struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol. It’s been a long journey, but today, Ethan Suplee — you might know him as Louie Lastik in a little movie called Remember the Titans — is healthier and happier than ever.

This interview is inspiring. We dove deep and dissected some of the pivotal moments in Ethan’s childhood that both drove him into his struggles and helped him decide to make some healthy changes. We also talked about some of the strategies he used to lose weight and perfect his diet. And finally, we talked about Ethan’s acting career, some experiences he’s had in Hollywood, and the incredible ways Denzel Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio have inspired him.

Ethan has experienced trauma, but he’s not defeated or defined by it. He’s learned to put into place the systems he needs to succeed, and he’s raising his daughters to do the same.

 

2. Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings grew up in Washington D.C. in a dysfunctional home with alcoholic family members, where she learned about codependency — a theme she brings up a lot in her memoir and stand-up comedy.

We learn a lot of coping mechanisms growing up, but we’re adults now, and so many of us are still carrying around coping mechanisms that are no longer needed. They can make us defensive, they can prevent us from developing healthy relationships, and they can hold us back from achieving our goals.

It’s time to “update our software.” Our situation has changed. We’re adults, with the ability to protect ourselves and the freedom to make our own choices. Yet, our brains have stayed the same.

It’s time to change and take responsibility for our choices.

Through her comedy, movies, and memoir, Whitney Cummings advocates for self-love, claiming independence, and breaking out of toxic patterns. In this interview, Whitney vulnerably shared her story about trauma, consequences, and self-healing.

As someone who has experienced trauma, this interview with Whitney Cummings meant a lot to me. She is truly an example of someone who changed her painful story into an empowering one.

3. David Goggins

To say that David grew up in hell isn’t an exaggeration.

His father wore a tailored suit and held the appearance of a charismatic, upright man. Behind the closed doors of his home, he was extremely physically abusive. His life was doomed for failure.

He began to tell himself what the world around him was telling him. Things like, “I’m dumb. I’m stupid. I’m nobody. Everyone hates me.” When David realized that failure was ahead of him, he decided to join the military to turn his life around. He failed the entry test twice. This was a test you couldn’t cheat on. On his third and final attempt, David passed, but he didn’t pass because he suddenly became a genius. He passed because he worked and worked for hours, writing every sentence of information into spiral-bound notebooks, so that he could memorize every single thing he needed to know.

When we experience hardships in our lives, we respond in one of two ways. We can let the pain consume us, define us, and condemn us for failure for the rest of our lives OR we can use this pain to fuel us for action.

David decided to do the latter. He chose the path of the most resistance. And he is still choosing that path.

David is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man), and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

He is indisputably one of the world’s best endurance athletes.

This episode got my blood pumping. It truly inspired me to push even harder into the areas of my life that challenge me so that I can become the best version of myself that I can be.

4. Brene Brown

There’s no denying it – people are tribal animals.

Even as early as the dawn of the species, humans discovered that there were definite benefits to banding together; joining forces to work toward common goals. Survival. Growth. Learning. And passing it all on.

And those bonds of belonging were so deep and so strong that humans came to depend on them even long after basic group survival was no longer a concern. As such, things like loneliness, rejection, and isolation can actually have an adverse effect on our physical and mental wellness even at this stage of our development.

But Dr. Brene Brown isn’t afraid to talk about shame, vulnerability, and loneliness, because sadly, it is at the heart of humanity today. These are feelings that we all feel at some point in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to feel them forever.

In 2010, Dr. Brown was invited to give a TED Talk about vulnerability, and even though there’s no such thing as an overnight success, her message went worldwide almost immediately. Her presentation, entitled “The Power of Vulnerability,” has been viewed a staggering 57 million times just between TED.com and YouTube alone.

So obviously, even though shame, vulnerability, and belonging aren’t always the subjects we want to talk about, they are the subjects we need to talk about. Dr. Brown has been vital in making these conversations happen, and I had the honor of interviewing her on the School of Greatness to talk about vulnerability and healing.

5. Tony Robbins

When I started The School of Greatness podcast, I decided I wanted to make it successful enough to interview three specific people someday.

One of them was Tony Robbins.

I first saw Tony when I was 16 years old, at one of his live events in St. Louis, MO.

I was so impacted by his presence and power when he walked past me to begin his presentation that I thought, “Wow, I want to have a presence like that someday.”

I’m always working on taking my energy to the next level, and sitting down with Tony in person to interview him on the podcast was an incredible moment for me to see how he does it face to face.

In this episode, Tony dove deep into the mindset of abundance, positivity, faith, and prosperity. He told incredible stories of how this applies in real life – even when you’re broke!

6. Wim Hof

Do you know how to breathe?

You’re probably thinking, “Of course I do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be reading this.”

The truth is, most people don’t know how to breathe correctly.

Wim Wof, otherwise known as “The Iceman,” has made it his mission to teach people the power of mastering their breath, body, and mind.

He got his nickname “The Iceman” by breaking several records related to cold exposure. His feats include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle on his bare feet, and standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for more than 112 minutes.

He says that our brains have the power to guarantee us happiness, strength, and health. We can actually regulate our minds and autonomous nervous systems by breathing and being present. To help people do just that, he developed the Wim Hof Method: a natural path to an optimal state of body and mind.

I’ve been hearing about his absolutely incredible records of being outside in the extreme cold for years (he currently holds 26 world records), but it wasn’t until he came by the studio for an interview that I got to experience the full wisdom and impact of Wim.

In this episode, you’ll learn breathing techniques that can decrease anxiety, alleviate depression, and give you a new perspective on your physical limits.

7. Grant Cardone

What if you dreamed bigger?

What if you decided to make $300,000 instead of $30,000 this year? What if you set goals that seemed impossible? What if you allowed yourself to reach such big dreams?

Grant Cardone is an expert on dreaming bigger as the author of eight business books, thirteen business programs, and the CEO of seven privately held companies. Forbes calls him one of the top social media business influencers in the world. Seriously, this guy knows how to maximize growth and success.

But it doesn’t stop there. Grant Cardone’s investments are pretty massive. He founded and manages a real estate investment firm, Cardone Capital, with $1 billion assets under management. He also travels the world consulting Fortune 500 companies, small business owners, startups, and governments on business expansion.

Grant Cardone is a major player in the business world. With decades of experience, he’s built an impressive base of knowledge and business sense, and he wants to help you maximize your growth and success.

In this interview, we discuss how we can begin to “think bigger” in our lives, create a culture of success, and embrace positivity. No matter what you’re working toward, I guarantee you, Grant Cardone’s advice will help you WIN!

8. Kobe Bryant

I only met Kobe Bryant once, but it was the most powerful interview (and pre show experience) I ever had. Sometimes you meet someone extraordinary and they hold back a little.

Not Kobe.

He opened his heart and talked about relationships, love, how his father inspired him, strategy, mindset, outsmarting the competition, how to be a champion at more than just sports and what the world needed most to heal. And of course he shared his 3 truths and definition of greatness! But it was the 90 minutes before our interview that inspired me the most on how he prepared for his day.

I share more of that personal experience in the full interview.

After the interview he messaged and said he would love to come back on the show to talk about his next book, but we weren’t able to make that happen. I know he loved his family and his friends deeply and he loved to tell great stories.

Kobe, you are missed by many and your life continues to inspire the world by the story you told.

9. Rob Dyrdek

Following your dream takes courage, passion, and discipline to consistently show up every day. It’s not enough to just imagine it — you’ve got to take action to make it happen.

Rob Dyrdek exemplifies this ideal as a living example of turning ideas into a business.

From the age of 11, he became engrossed in the skateboarding community, spending hardly anytime with kids his own age. Constantly surrounded by older entrepreneurs meant he was inadvertently shown the path to entrepreneurship, even though he didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time.

It took several years for Rob to understand the difference between a business and an idea and learn how many people with drive, will, and the ability to bring ideas to life don’t necessarily create great companies.

He quickly learned the power of taken immediate action to build massive brands and actualize his dreams. Besides building footwear apparel and skate brands, he also launched the world’s first professional skateboarding league and skateboarding channel, ETN. He’s produced multiple hit TV shows, including Rob and Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and Ridiculousness.

In this incredible interview, we talk about how Rob, a high school dropout and skateboarder, became an media empire mogul. If you’re ready to stop dreaming and start doing, this episode is for you.

10. Amanda Cerny

Amanda Cerny is an actor, writer, model, and social media influencer. With more than 35 million followers across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, Amanda has become a celebrity and top female influencer.

But despite being so successful today, her story was full of personal challenges, business roadblocks, and difficulties that could have halted her story.

It’s human to make multiple stops on the way to your destination. Some of these stops are forgetting moments, but others are crucial opportunities for growth.

It’s important to own these moments. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or regretful. Sometimes you just have to change the narrative, acknowledging that everything you experience shapes who you are today. Just be unapologetically you.

This interview with Amanda Cerny is a testament to the fact that when you own who you are, great things happen.

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