The Science of Success
Matt Bodnar

The #1 Evidence Based Growth Podcast on the Internet. The Science of Success is about the search for evidence based personal growth. It's about exploring ways to improve your decision-making, understand your mind and how psychology rules the world around you, and learn from experts and thought leaders about ways we can become better versions of ourselves.

Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a consultancy firm that advises worldwide businesses on how to effectively use sound. Julian has delivered 5 TED talks with more than 100 million views about listening, communication, and the effect sound has on the human brain.

Dee Ann Turner is a Communicator, Consultant, and Coach. She was Chick-fil-A’s first female officer and was instrumental in building and growing their well-known culture and talent systems for 33 years.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is an author, data scientist, and speaker who studies what we can learn about people from new internet data sources.

Dr. Dan Gartenberg is a researcher and tech inventor. He holds a PhD in cognitive psychology with expertise in sleep, A.I. and preventative health. He is the creator of several apps including the Sonic Sleep app for detecting sleep stages and improving sleep quality using wearable tech.

Neil Pasricha is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome series, which has been published in ten countries, spent over five years on bestseller lists, and sold over a million copies.

For this Holiday Special we brought you some of the best moments on giving, connectedness, compassion, kindness, Courage, and much much more.

Dan Carlin is a political commentator and podcaster. Formerly a professional radio host, Dan hosts the incredibly popular Hardcore History podcast and has been called “America’s History professor.”

Alex Banayan is the best-selling author of The Third Door, which chronicles his five-year quest to track down the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers.

Marcus Whitney is an entrepreneur, an author, and a founder or co-founding partner in many businesses include Health:Further, Jumpstart, and the Nashville FC professional soccer team.

Tom Rath is a consultant and author on employee engagement, strengths, and wellbeing. He is best known for his studies on strengths-based leadership, wellbeing, and synthesizing research findings in his series of bestselling books.

In this episode, we take a look back at some of our past guest's most valuable insights on gratitude! Enjoy the mashup!

In this episode we bring on Grant Cardone to give you a real look at what it means to be successful and what it really takes to get there. He shares the exact shifts you have to make in order to 10x your life. We share why you should ignore most people’s advice, how to push yourself to a new level, and why learning isn’t enough to get to the highest levels.

In this episode we share lessons from the world of high stakes poker. What’s it like to bet millions on the turn of a card?

In this episode we unlock the POWER of ASKING. When you ask for what you need, miracles can happen, but so many of us are too afraid to really ask, or we feel like we don’t know how or what we should be asking for. How do you get better at ask? How can you tap the tremendous power and potential of the social capital within your network by using the power of asking? We answer these questions and much more with our guest Dr. Wayne Baker. How to unlock the incredible power and potential of your network and the social capital Dr. Wayne Baker is an American author and sociologist on the senior faculty of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is best known for his research in economic sociology, and his survey research on values, where he documented Americans’ core values. He writes in both academic and popular media on this theme and is often invited to present his findings across the U.S.  What’s the difference between “paying it back” versus “paying it forward” - what’s the difference? What is a kidney chain? And what can it teach us about the importance of “paying it forward?" What is a reciprocity ring and how can it change the way you interact with your social network? What is social capital? The network that we are involved in and all of the resources that the network contains.  When you ask for what you need - miracles can happen There is a wealth of opportunity at your fingertips - but you have to ASK for it! What are the biggest reasons that people don’t ask for what they need? What stops you from asking for help on the most important things in your life? Why is it so hard to ask for what we need? How do we get better at asking? What should you do if you aren’t clear about what you need? What should you do if you don’t know what to ask for? Start with figuring out your goal. What’s your goal? What are you trying to achieve? What resources do you need to achieve that goal? Money? Advice? Resources?  Then you have to figure out WHO to ask Then you have to MAKE the ask The “two step” method for asking for anything you want. You may not directly know someone, but you probably know someone who knows someone. The “quick start method” for figuring out WHAT YOU NEED and ASKING FOR IT Visioning - developing a detailed, vivid, description of a positive future. Then you start to identify the goals that are in that vision, that back that into request.  What is a SMART request? People don’t know WHY you’re asking for something unless you EXPLAIN.  Research is very clear - the more specific your request, the more likely people are to help.  If you make a smart, well formulated request people are more likely to think you’re smart and competent.  People are more willing to help than you think they are.  Action item: Make a small request in a safe place.  Action item: Use the reciprocity ring or other tools to create structured ways to interact and ask. H ow to integrate the “Stand Up” into your routines and meetings to structure asking into the natural rhythms of your work and life.  People are willing to help, they are willing to give, but you have to ASK - because people can’t read your mind Life is about connection and asking is what jump starts the power of your connections.  Be a giver-request - be very generous and freely help other people even if they’ve never helped you, or can never help you in the future.  Freely give help and freely ask for what you need - this the most powerful mode of being. Don’t be a lone wolf. Doing it all by yourself is a recipe for failure.  Overly generous giving, without ever ASKING for what you need - leads to burnout.  Homework: Apply the elements from the quick start method questions above to figure out what you need help with.  Homework: Assess where you are on the spectrum of giving and asking.

In this interview we show you how to grow a business with no capital, no product and no service. You will discover how to train yourself to spot outrageous business opportunities surrounding you in everyday life and we give you the strategies for building trust with your ideal clients and business partners. We ask what does it take to become GREAT? In your career, job, business, partnering, relationships we look at exactly how you can achieve greatness in the key areas of your life. All of this and much more with our guest the legendary Jay Abraham. Jay Abraham is founder and CEO of The Abraham Group, Inc., and is recognized as one of the world’s most successful marketing strategists, business innovators, entrepreneurial advisors, and masters of revenue acceleration. He has spent the last 30+ years solving problems and significantly increasing the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. How do you grow a company with no capital, product, or service? What does it mean to mine, monetize and maximize relational capital? Whatever your resource impediment or impairment is, someone else has that and you just have to figure out how to ethically leverage it How Jay created 1.5mm in less than 6 months by finding arbitrage between products, services, and audiences  Find “strategic investors” - who else benefits from your growth? Complementary or related products, companies that benefit and naturally grow when you grow - and demonstrate to them that your growth is beneficial for them too - and then get them to help you.  How do you build trust in a business relationship? How do you get someone to introduce you to all of their clients? Before you expend a ton of capital and time on a project - try to get some validation. The only validation that counts is dollars spent, not what a focus group thinks. How to easily validate your business ideas without taking risk on the front end.  There’s a huge amount of IP that’s available to license from places like the Navy, the government, etc Find “parallel universes” that aren’t competitive and plug those opportunities in.  Never put anything at risk until you’ve de-risked and validated your product, service, or business model  What happens when a typical business is STUCK? Figure out what you’re stuck with.  How can you unlock an “unlimited business checkbook” to fund ANY problem within your business? How someone got paid $1mm and a free Porsche to buy a Porsche dealership with creative deal making Spend time traveling outside whatever you do and whatever you’re interested in. Study other businesses, study how other products and services market, how they sell, study topics that are outside your domain of knowledge.  How to train yourself to spot outrageous business opportunities lying around you in everyday life. How you can make the “money connection” - you don’t need to be brilliant, but you have to have the right “sensors” turned on - and they only turn on when you broaden your understanding of what’s possible What is Greatness? And why do so many people fall short of it? Everyone has the ability to be great - and everyone wants to be great. 98% of people are mediocre - yet they want to be great - WHY? What does it take to become GREAT? In your career, job, business, partnering, relationships - how you can achieve greatness in the key areas of your life.  There are 4 keys to achieving greatness With every improvement in greatness there is an exponential increase in quality and outcome - not a linear increase.  Most breakthroughs don’t come from WITHIN an industry - they come from OUTSIDE it.  Homework: Be curious, ask people questions, dig into how other businesses and industries do business.

In this episode we have one of the absolute living legends of psychology on the show - we discuss the GREATEST unanswered question in psychology, the biggest thing people mis-understand about flow, what advice young people can take away from our guest's incredible career, and what he thinks the absolute biggest takeaways from his own research are - and much more with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Your fate, your destiny, your future is not set out for you - you can shape it to be what you want it to be. You have the freedom to make life better for yourself and more worthwhile and meaningful for yourselves. Even the greatest traumas and struggles can be overcome. You don’t have to achieve fame and fortune to live a meaningful and wonderful life and to be truly alive.  Mihaly is Claremont Graduate University’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management. He is a bestselling author and founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies and his work has been featured on NPR,TED, WIRED, and more!! The key ideas supported by the data around how people respond to Trauma. People who are focused beyond themselves and their own wellbeing are more resilient to the things that happen to them.  When you focus on the wellbeing of others, society, your family, etc - you’re much more resilient to Trauma How do you think of yourself? Do you think of yourself as the body in which you live? Do you see yourself as being part of a family, group, religion etc? This will shape your response to trauma.  The self is a very poor site for meaning - don’t put all your eggs in the fragile basket of the self  We are all connected - recognizing that helps contextualize our existence Flow and happiness are not the same thing - but they are very related Flow is a momentary state of experience and happiness is a general perspective towards life  If your life is full of flow - it will be a happy life!  How do we consistently create flow states in our lives? If you have those 2 traits you are more likely to be in flow more often  Pay attention to the world around you and connect with it one way or another  Life is quite malleable - we often feel like we’ve been dealt a tough hand, but its often how we react to it that is the most important  How does Mihaly think about creating flow states in his own life? What is the greatest unanswered question in psychology today? What is the biggest mistake or pitfall that younger people (in their mid 20s) can make? You have to keep an open mind, be open to learning Don’t be too instinctive, don’t become an ideologue too soon What’s the biggest thing that people misunderstand about Flow and Mihay’s research?  We have the opportunity to shape ourselves into whoever we want to be- but we have to take into account where we came from and what our experiences have been.  What’s the biggest takeaway from all the research on Flow? Your fate, your destiny, your future is not set out for you - you can shape it to be what you want it to be. You have the freedom to make life better for yourself and more worthwhile and meaningful for yourselves. Even the greatest traumas and struggles can be overcome. You don’t have to achieve fame and fortune to live a meaningful and wonderful life and to be truly alive.  It may not be an easy road to get there, but it’s possible for anyone to get there. This is open to everyone, but it’s hard to do the work and get there. Life can be much more fun than you think! We have to look past the limited perspective of our own egos and experiences to understand the beauty of life.

In this episode, we show you how to turn your fear into health, wealth, and happiness. If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before. That means suffering and taking risks. Building a positive relationship with suffering is one of the most important life skills you can master. Suffering is the true training ground of self-transcendence. With our guest Akshay Nanavati we show you how to choose your struggle and build meaningful suffering into your life. Akshay Nanavati is a Marine Corps Veteran, speaker, adventurer, entrepreneur and author of "Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness." He is also the founder of the nonprofit, the Fearvana Foundation. His work has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today,, CNN, Huffington Post, Military Times, FOX 5 NY, ABC, NBC and other media outlets around the globe.  From drug addiction to marine corps Bootcamp - to hunting for bombs in Iraq - how Akshay learned to deal with fear  The toughest battle Akshay had to fight was coming home - dealing with PTSD and suicidal thoughts  We live in a world that demonizes stress, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering - and yet in the psychology and neuroscience research shows us that our emotions are normal and inevitable We don’t live in a world of life-threatening risks anymore, and so our brain creates these risks No emotions are good or bad - we assign and create the meaning via our beliefs Humans are meaning-making machines - we naturally create meaning out of everything What you are labeling yourself can powerfully shape your experiences. Typical behaviors like “depression” “PTSD” etc are just brain patterns, and they can be re-written using “Top-Down Neuroplasticity” Don’t wait for the fear to go away, act despite the fear.. or once you learn to train yourself.. BECAUSE of the fear  Building a positive relationship to suffering is the single most important skill to master.  “Hebbs Law” - neurons that fire together, wire together There is a war in your brain for neuronal real estate - use it or lose it.  Should you try to SEEK Suffering instead of AVOID suffering? "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” - Dr. Carl Jung “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - Dr. Carl Jung V isualize yourself in the process of going through the struggle, the suffering, the tough part of your goals - not the easy parts at the end.  There is tremendous beauty in pushing through and into your fears.  Everything worthwhile is hard, and you have to train yourself to fall in love with suffering. Fall in love with the process. Y ou cannot get better at something without doing it.  Exercise is a “miracle grow for your brain.” If you could put all the benefits of exercise into a pill, it would be the best selling pill of all time.  If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before. That means suffering and taking a risk. If you don’t proactively search out a proactive worthy challenge - something to struggle and suffer for in your life - then suffering will find you anyway.  Don’t follow your passion, find your "worthy struggle."  You don’t discover a passion you develop a passion. You have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations to develop your passion. You only evolve when you suffer. That’s why lottery winners typically lose their winnings. When you struggle for it, you become a different person. Homework: Find one little thing to test yourself. Do a little thing to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Don’t just do it, come back and reflect on it. Journal about it.

In this episode, we discuss how to get started building your network and traffic online. We learn exactly how to build an audience from scratch, insider lessons about the best content marketing approach, how to get your content to go viral, a mind-blowing facebook advertising strategy and why email is still one of the most important marketing channels with our guest Joe Fier. Joe Fier advises businesses on marketing strategy and sales conversion to increase revenues. He consults and creates long-term selling assets for clients, which has generated over $50 million in revenue online. He runs a marketing and tech consulting company and full-scale content marketing agency. He and his Co-Founder at Evergreen Profits, Matt Wolfe are also the hosts of the Hustle and Flowchart Podcast and authors of The Evergreen Traffic Playbook, hosts of the Hustle and Flowchart Podcast and Evergreen Wisdom: Daily Habits & Thoughts To Optimize Your Business & Life. Producing the best possible content was one of the inflection points for Evergreen Profits Content Creation & Development is the cornerstone of their growth strategy  “It starts with content - that’s the inflection point" Attracting the right people to your content hasn’t changed a lot in the last 10 years in the online world.  When Joe kickstarted his podcast, he went to his network and got it front of them How do you build up a network or seed your initial traffic? Places like Reddit, Facebook groups, Quora - get involved in a community, get involved in a bucket of an audience, interject or inject value with the content that you produce - and be consistent. You have to be consistently involved in the community.  You have to build your own “credibility” in the community before you post your own content  Go into the community and spend a few weeks JUST answering questions Just keep adding a ton of value and get the other people to start self-promoting for you  Get to know the OWNER of the subreddit or the MODERATOR of the subreddit (same strategy Sol used) that’s the KEY Spend a minimal budget to kickstart a piece of content Reddit Ads Quora Ads Facebook Ads Google Ads The target goal of the ads = join our email list Email Opt-Ins for a new audience Run these $1/day ads targeting Brene Brown on FB and point them straight to the show notes page There’s no commitment on their part, and you’re selling them on the podcast Retargeting Warm approach “Exclusive notes on this Brene Brown interview - click here to get them absolutely free" Driven by FB retargeting after they’ve already visited your page Start low and work your way up as you see it working / frequency getting higher  They will have a pool of 10 potential ads and they will assign a budget to the pool, and FB will pull the various ads - let FB’s algorithm do the work for you  Repurpose episodes into something more visual for FB / Instagram / Ads They try to do the opposite of the “Launch” model  Have a longer-term mindset and know that the content you’re putting out in the world will live there for a long long time Create amazing valuable content that will pass the test of time Always try to follow up, the money is made on the follow-up Don’t try to rush the sale, don’t be too pushy, lead with value  Homework: Start an email list and create a good opt-in freebie + pair it up with a checklist or short opt-in guide Then set up retargeting + simple FB ad strategy to bring people back to what you’re doing.

Have you always wondered if the “Law of Attraction” is real? In this episode we dig into the science behind visualization, manifesting and much more to find out what really works and what doesn’t. We share strategies for access your intuition and aligning your emotions, your intuition and your rational thought process to supercharge your brain, show you how to beat imposter syndrome, and much more with our guest Dr. Tara Swart. Dr. Tara Swart is a neuroscientist and former psychiatric doctor. She is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan and visiting senior lecturer at Kings College London, and an executive advisor to some of the world's most respected leaders in media and business. In 2016 she was named the world's first Neuroscientist-in-Residence at Corinthia Hotel, London. She is the author of the award-winning Neuroscience for Leadership, co-author of An Attitude for Acting, and lead author of her soon to be released third book, The Source. Can we merge science and spirituality? Is there science that actually explains the “law of attraction?" Because of the way that you think you attract certain things into your life.  The concept of abundant thinking  The mental model “loss aversion” and why losses are more painful than gains  Mastering your emotions, cultivating intuition, they are all very similar to learning a new language  Replace any negative thought with a positive thought immediately - an ancient Buddhist lesson that is supported by the neuroscience of neuroplasticity What should you do if you can’t dislodge a negative thought from your brain? If you have a repetitive negative thought or a theme to a negative narrative in your brain - distill it down to the basic underlying belief that drives that negative thought - create an opposite state and use that as your positive affirmation or mantra (check out limiting belief episodes for more) Use laughter and oxytocin to powerfully encode or recode beliefs  How do you deal with imposter syndrome? Strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome Does visualization work? Visualization makes things more certain for the brain.  How creating a vision board can powerfully improve your brain’s focus on your goals Value tagging and selective attention - by visualizing your future you start to prime the brain to focus on the things that you want to be important.  “The Tetris Effect” - Do your visualization board as the last thing you do before you go to bed to prime and feed information into your subconscious.  The period of time that you’re about to fall asleep is the period where your subconscious can be the MOST influenced. Visualization is an umbrella that three big things fall under Neuroplasticity is the ability to change your brain. What you think and how you live can actually change physical things in your body. Journaling is the “single best way” to access your intuition and align your emotions, your intuition and your rational thought process. You can avoid repeating the same mistakes if you start to tap into and access your intuition There’s a large neuronal connection between the gut neurons and the limbic system If you take a high-quality probiotic it can reduce negative thinking in your life There’s a deep connection between your gut and your brain  Probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods can improve your brain, your happiness, and your performance  Meta-cognition - thinking about your thinking. Stepping back and asking yourself if your thought processes are healthy and helpful. An awesome exercise you can use to improve your meta-cognition and reframe your thinking Homework: Create an action board. The structure of the board is important. Don’t use words - that go down the logical/rational pathway.

How did one of the greatest geniuses of all time lose his life savings overnight? Despite our illusions of rationality, even the most brilliant humans are not rational at all. We tell ourselves that it’s always the other person who is irrational, envious, and aggressive, and that it’s never us. But science shows that all of our brains are remarkably similar, sculpted by evolution to have baked in biases and bad habits. No one is exempted from the laws of human nature. In this episode we explore the path that all the world’s greatest strategists have used to master their own irrationality and achieve mastery with our legendary guest Robert Greene. Robert Greene is an author known for his books on strategy, power, and seduction. He has written six international bestsellers: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, Mastery, and The Laws of Human Nature. In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, Greene’s books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry (including Jay-Z, Drake, and 50 Cent). How one of the greatest geniuses of all time lost his life savings overnight. Could it happen to you? Despite our illusions of rationality, humans are not rational at all - we are governed by our emotions. To be rational requires deep work and training.  Many forces from evolution that are wired into our brains used to be adaptive, now they can be dangerous and even counter productive  These primitive elemental forces form the cornerstones of human nature Are the emotions that you’re feeling actually from your life? Did they come from you or did they come from other people? We need to be independent, we need to think for ourselves, we need to gain control of our emotional responses.  You can’t begin to be a rational strategist in life until you are aware of your own emotions It begins with humility. Turn your internal self absorption around.  Rationality is being aware of your irrationality. Being aware of the emotions that govern your decisions. Step back. Cultivating the ability to step away, to pull out of tunnel vision, to see a bigger picture, is a cornerstone of rational thinking and strategic thinking.  The brain operates by simplifying information - we often don’t have access to the SOURCE of our feelings and emotions. You need other people to do anything in life. Investing in the skill of influencing them is one of the most powerful things you can invest in.  How LBJ was a master influencer and could melt away anyone’s defensiveness Respond to people as they ARE not as you want them to be Your natural tendency as you get older is for your mind to close up.  Open, curious, having a mindset of discovery and openness is much more powerful than a deeply convicted rigid mindset. Having a rigid perspective is destroying your mind.  A creative mind is incredibly flexible. That’s the quality of any truly great artist, entrepreneur, or political figure. It’s the path that ALL of the great strategists in life have followed. Do you want power, creativity, success, and influence? OPEN UP YOUR MIND.  Homework: Use a journal or simply do a thought experiment in your own head - in the course of a day you will feel many different emotions - dig into those emotions and understand what is going on with yourself and your own emotions. Try to find one moment, one emotion, and think about the root cause, think about where that emotion comes from. Where does it REALLY come from? Question. Dig. Think before your act. Try to come up with one little nugget about yourself and why you feel that way and analyze it instead of giving into it.