Here’s Something I’ve Noticed . . .

Very few people breathe on purpose.

When’s the last time you inhaled, then exhaled slowly, deliberately, without thinking about anything other than your breath?

If you cannot remember, now is a good time.

In for a three-count. Hold for a three-count. Out for a three-count.

That will make your day 1% better.

–JF

 

What is The One Percent Better Project?

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Text @1better to 81010

I am flattered and honored to get to write a post explaining my obsession.

One Percent Better in one sentence: I send subscribers inspirational videos, articles, and original interviews weekly (sometimes more) for free.


Detailed version: For years I have prided myself in noticing things.  I have developed an intentional habit of seeking out information that inspires me, and makes my life better in countless ways.

Now I share it with you.

Think of me as your filter.  I have spent an obscene amount of time reading and listening to personal development content so that I can send you the best of the best.  The most inspiring, the most thought-provoking, the most actionable resources I can find.

I gravitate toward material that is passionate, authentic, and creative.  The content I send falls into one of three categories:

  1. Materials that when implemented will allow you to discover the power of marginal gains. Concepts like “Watering the Bamboo” and Dan Pink’s Pre-Mortem Technique.
  2. Strategies that have a lopsided results-to-effort ratio.  Simple tweaks that will yield sizable improvements. Fun things like how to cold brew coffee at home  or how to brine a turkey. Serious things like Steph Curry’s pregame routine.
  3. Original, focused interviews with leaders whom I admire.

My vision is clear, but for the first time in my life I have not scripted where this will journey will end.  I want to connect with as many people as I can to help change lives.  I want to interview people who live life with purpose, learn from leaders who inspire others, and speak to groups who want to get better. I hope to do it all with a sense of joy, authenticity, and often humor.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

Let’s get one percent better every day together.

 

An Interview: One Way to Finish the Season

Today is a short one.

I was thrilled to have been able to record a conversation with someone whom I admire.  In our casual talk, Coach Sandro Prosperino revealed one of the many things he does in his soccer program to sustain his winning culture. You won’t hear it from him, but he is one of the most dedicated coaches that I know, in any sport. Whether you lead in sports, business, or family, I think you will get something out of this interview.

Please let me know what you think.

Sandro Prosperino on Ending the Year with Closure

 

11 Podcast Episodes That Will Change Your Life

I admit to overusing the phrase “it will change your life.” Whether it’s Italian water ice , coffee , movies, books, or even pens , when I find something amazing, I love to share it with people.  Some people don’t agree that these kinds of things can be life changing, but if your obsession is like mine, to get one percent better each day,  you can see how immersing yourself in inspirational things that you love can change your life.

For the last seven years, one of the ways I have sought to change my life is to turn my commute into an opportunity to learn.  Frequently, colleagues comment on how my 45-minute commute to work is too far for them.  I can certainly understand their point, but soon after I began commuting, I had the realization that even while I drive, I can continue to grow.  Instead of listening to the radio, I tried podcasts, and they changed my life.  I cannot remember the first episode I listened to, but I also have not been able to forget countless others. They have inspired me, taught me, and made me think.  In the spirit of this blog and its mission of sharing ideas, I feel compelled to share them with you. Here is a list of podcasts episodes that have erased my commute, and changed my life. 

11 Life-Changing Podcast Episodes

For living a creative life.  “The Tim Ferriss Show” with director Robert Rodriguez. This episode offers an insider’s perspective on how to cultivate a life of creativity. His section on journaling makes you wish you could go back in time and write more things down. Episode here.

For building a winning culture. “ABCA Calls from the Clubhouse.”  Jeremy Sheetinger interviews Gary Gilmore, Head Coach of the 2016 National Champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.  His insight on building a winning culture transcends sports. This is a rare interview where the leader gives specific after specific on how he has created a juggernaut in South Carolina. Episode here.

For thinking about an issue you have never considered. Malcolm Gladwell’s  “Revisionist History” Episode 5.  After listening I had two immediate thoughts: I would sue Malcolm Gladwell if I were Vassar College, and I should have gone to Bowdoin . Both of these miss Gladwell’s larger point, but after you listen, tell me if you think I’m wrong. Episode here.

For the difference between goals and systems. Scott Adams on “The Tim Ferriss Show.” Scott is quickly becoming famous for something other than creating Dilbert –  his bold prediction that Donald Trump will win the election in a landslide.  But this episode has nothing to do with politics. Instead, Adams reveals the persuasion techniques that the best in the world use. He tells great stories that he details in his book  that I also highly recommend.  Episode here.

For learning the science of persuasion. Speaking of persuasion . . . here is the master of it, Robert Cialdini , on Jordan Harbinger’s “The Art of Charm.” Most people have never heard of Cialdini’s work, and it’s so good that I considered keeping this episode to myself. His science-backed strategies are so effective that they seem impossible to believe at times. Episode here.

For the value of relationships. “The Top Coach Baseball Podcast” with Jack Warren. My bias leans towards baseball, but every once in awhile you hear about a leader who has built such deep relationships that you wonder if you can ever measure up.  For instance, Head Coach Brian Shoop has attended 82 weddings of his former players. I’m speechless. Episode here.

For the power of simplicity in leadership.  The “The EntreLeadership Podcast” with former Notre Dame Head Coach Lou Holtz. Lou’s message almost seems too simple to work, except it has, time and time again.  Sure I was in my athletic prime at age 11 as a raving Notre Dame fan imagining I was Tony Rice, but that aside, the clarity of his message cuts through the clutter that can bog down today’s culture. Episode here.

For learning to make your own small dent in the universe. “The Moment with Brian Koppelman.”  Seth Godin episode. Brian is the most underrated interviewer in the world right now, which actually made it a difficult selection on which episode to choose. This is an artful conversation about what it means to create and give with generosity. If this is your first experience with two of my favorite creative people, prepare to take a deep dive into their work. Episode here.

For masterful storytelling.  “Mystery Show.” The Belt Buckle. I don’t know if Season Two will ever arrive, but this episode is incredible. No one I know goes looking for a podcast like this, but every one who listens to this story is amazed at its craft. Episode here.

For learning how to clarify your mission.  Ryan Hawk ‘s “The Learning Leader” with guest Donald Miller . Ryan is a marvel in the podcast game.  He recently released episode 159 and shows no signs of slowing down.  This episode with branding expert Miller has actionable takeaway after actionable takeaway. Episode here.

For learning how to give feedback. “Where there’s Smoke.” Stop, Look, Listen (Criticism) episode. This is a sneaky good episode from a podcast that is under the radar of many listeners. The exercise host Brett Gajda uses to demonstrate the difference between feedback and criticism is as useful an idea as I’ve heard this year. Episode here.

I created this blog as a place to share ideas.  Email me with the episodes that I have overlooked.

Happy listening.


Joe Ferraro  co-hosts a podcast that his immediate family thinks is life-changing.

 

The Timing of Communication: Show Notes

This post is a listener guide to KWBRadio Episode 36: The Timing of Communication 

Links mentioned on the podcast:

The coffee shop mentioned  

The benefits of drinking coffee  

My coffee maker

Kevin ordering Wonton Soup

Kev’s Summer Reading List Shoe Dog  The Arm      Relentless  

Joe on The Top Coach Podcast

Rick Eckstein Episode

Criticism vs. feedback

Quotable:

26: 37 Understanding our students. “Doing the blog this month has forced me out of my comfort zone and has forced me into the mind of my students. When they have to write their essays, I can look at them eye to eye . . .”–JF

27:20: “We try to relate material.  . . not try to treat everyone the same.  If we are teaching something to somebody, we have to have done it in the past.” –KW

30:20 “Kids need to take a break from hitting.”–KW

38:30 @cotuck  

41:15 “I like kids failing.” –KW

Where to find us:

Follow the show on Twitter! @KWBRadio

Twitter @FerraroOnAir  @KWBaseball

 The Website      Kevin Wilson Baseball, LLC

Not on iTunes? No worries! Head on over to KWBaseball.com to listen now!

 

 

 

Help Wanted: A Winning Cell Phone Policy in the Classroom

Teachers: What is your classroom cell phone policy?

I ask as someone who has come to know the squared shoulders, elbows out signature pose of someone secretly texting under his desk.

I ask as someone who knows teens well enough to know that confrontational administration of any policy erodes a classroom culture. “Because I said so” does not fly with 21st century teens.

I ask as someone who knows that cell phone addiction is a real thing. 

I ask as someone who just finished a personal, self-imposed one-week no cell phone stint.

I ask as someone who literally dreamed of texts and emails during that week.

I ask as someone who knows that the cell phone’s capabilities are as amazing as any invention in our lifetime.

I ask as someone who knows that the cell phone also destroys our ability to have deep conversations with the people that we are actually with.

I ask as someone who is fortunate to have a supportive administration that will back up my classroom policy.

There’s the right policy, and the right way to deliver the policy to our students.

I am looking for both.

 

 

 

I Got Ejected Last Night

I got ejected last night for the first time in 13 years.

What I should have said to the umpire was:

I’m sorry Jack, can I have time please?  Hey thanks.  What did you see there?  From where I was in the dugout I had the batter crossing the plate landing in the left-handed batter’s box as he bunted through the ball. My catcher couldn’t make the throw to second as the runner was stealing second.  You didn’t have the same?  I gotcha, maybe you were screened on the play, would you mind asking your partner if he saw something different?  He might have had a better angle on the play.  Thank you, Jack.  

What I did say doesn’t matter.

In life it is very rare that we get the chance to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, but we should prepare in advance for various scenarios.

The best technique I have come across comes from best selling author Dan Pink.  In just over two minutes, he details a powerful technique for preparing for the worst case scenario, even as we hope for the best.

Pink’s technique might not have saved me last night, but over time it’s a valuable asset to add to the tool box.