Spartan Up! - A Spartan Race for the Mind!

Jay Jackson is the subject of Joe’s ultimate wrestling story, but you’ll have to wait to the very end of the episode to hear it. Jackson,assistant principal and wrestler, recognizes a need to nudge students into uncomfortable situations that will develop their grit, but that are often absent in an increasingly bubble wrapped society. He got his grit from his parents. His father, as a wrestling coach, would push his physical boundaries and his mom had clever strategies to develop his social skills. Jackson shares some valuable advice about how to advance towards your goals with a smile on your face.

    1.    To raise your children to be resilient, practice pushing them out of their comfort zone gradually through time, but not without building a solid foundation of security and love when they’re young.
    2.    Since a majority of your life is spent getting to a destination it is vital to find a way to enjoy the process.
    3.    If you can persist in every area of your life, physically, mentally, morally, you’ll succeed.

Direct download: 070-SUP-Jay-Jackson_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

In world renowned ultra runner Dean Karnazes, Joe tracked down a real Spartan by both disposition and bloodline. Does he eat gruel for breakfast, take cold showers, and run wearing a hundred pounds of armor? Maybe. He’s run marathons in every state and is now setting out to do the same in every country. Certainly that falls within the same spirit. So you might be taken aback to hear that Karnazes tells us that we should set out not only to fail, but to fail big. His advice is backed up by a life changing experience that he will describe in this episode.


    1.    To achieve great things take small steps and ask yourself at every step if you’re conducting yourself with discipline.
    2.    Never stop exploring: don’t be afraid to try new things and eventually you’ll discover your passion/s.
    3.    Fail boldly: the most useful lessons are learned from the most dramatic failures.

Direct download: 069-SUP-Dean_Karnazes_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

According to writer Andrew Marantz, if you want to have a fulfilling life, take the largely accepted wisdom “live each day as if it were your last” with a large grain of salt. On the road to success, merely satisfying every desire as it appears will get you nowhere. In a philosophical conversation on the Spartan Cruise Joe and Andrew discuss the the crossover between perseverance and success in artists and athletes, the importance of future memory, the strong drive towards innovation and a variety of other topics. They also attempt to answer whether human achievement is driven by chemical releases in the brain or something more complex.


    1.    “Live each day as if it were your last” may be a misleading aphorism: There are clearly many things you must do to achieve long term fulfillment that don’t involve instant gratification.
    2.    The thing that often gives you the most satisfaction, your life’s passion, is paradoxically the thing you frequently don’t enjoy doing at all, but after all is said and done, love regardless.
    3.    On one extreme are virtuosos, those who strive for mastery, on the other are innovators, those who create change. We need both equally, and often we ARE both.

Direct download: 068-SUP-Andrew-Marantz-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Growing up as the child of holocaust survivors, Broadway director Jerry Zaks, often found himself overprotected with his family wanting him to enter a “real” profession. At the moment he found his true passion and was happiest his family felt sorriest for him and that he had thrown his life away. But he had inherited from them a ferocious will to live that enabled him to take nothing for granted and propelled him in a vocation in which the odds are stacked up against you. Though not apparent on the surface, performers and directors are Spartans and in this episode Zaks will describe why.


    1.    Seek out the roles in which you best fit and then make fulfilling them a matter of life or death.
    2.    Getting the part, whether it be the leading actor or position in a dream job, involves translating your talent into behavior that’s unforgettable.
    3.    Protect the possibility of a happy ending for as long as possible.

Direct download: 067-SUP-JerryZaks-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Xand Van Tulleken, a doctor who practices in hostile regions, had a taste of the easy life growing up, but it did not sate his appetite for adventure. He has worked in such places as Sudan, Uganda and Peru and the excitement of the challenge has made it difficult to go back to a conventional existence. He and his brother have even started a TV show in which they immerse themselves in traditional indigenous medicine with no other recourse. The takeaway? Western medicine has a lot to learn.

1. When things go badly wrong it's because of indecisiveness and uncertainty, therefore, be prepared.
2. People can live quite well without western medicine. It has little to offer to the indigenous way of life, for example.
3. Some of life's happiest moments are in the midst of doing difficult things.

Direct download: 066-SUP-Xander-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

To say the least, Lewis Howes had a focused vision. He wanted to make the Olympics and figured that the best way in was by joining the national handball team. There was a slight problem, he never played the game. He brought his athleticism and Arena Football experience to New York City, practiced intensely and now finds himself tantalizingly close to his daunting goal after an incredibly brief quest. He has some sage advice for the longer road to greatness as well.


1. Live in the moment, in the flow and take tiny steps.
2. The health and performance benefits of quitting, or limiting, simple carbs and sugar are a game changer.
3. If you lack natural talent, you must seek out alternative means to gain an edge.

Direct download: 065-SUP-Lewis_Howes_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Tucker Max is an author who pioneered the genre known as “fratire,” an irreverent,  tongue in cheek description of his testosterone and beer fueled exploits that gained a decent following about a decade ago. Now CEO of, his life appears to have taken on a decidedly different tack as he stands head to head with Joe in the MMA octagon. By his own admission, he’s only achieved modest success in the ring, but what he has learned is priceless. In the ring, as in life, there is no such thing as “losing.” There is only winning and learning.


    1.    There’s no reason to worry about losing. There’s only winning or learning.
    2.    Great mentors shorten the learning curve and speed the way to mastery. Take the effort to find one.
    3.    If you want something, make sure you have something to offer first.

Direct download: 064-SUP_Tucker_Max_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Unwittingly paddling into hippo infested waters on the Zambezi was the perfect, if unintentional, predictor of later success for Juliet Starrett who co-owns the San Francisco Crossfit with her husband Kelly. After the most lethal mammal to man upended her canoe, she was already strategizing her plan to survive midair. This is the perfect metaphor for making it in business: peril will gauge a sneak attack at the most inconvenient times and you gotta summon up the fortitude and flexibility to adjust your strategy when suspended at the height of danger. There is simply no time to lick your wounds.


    1.    Taking risks in your day to day life helps prepare you for the risks in business.
    2.    Be or recruit someone who is highly organized as an essential member of your team.
    3.    To retain quality staff, create enough space for them in the company to diversify and grow.

Direct download: 063-SUP_Juliet_Starrett_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

“Chefrepreneur” Jeffrey Zurofsky, co-founder of Wichcraft sandwich shop and judge on Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant,” suggests the obstacles of running an efficient kitchen and a successful restaurant should be a model for entrepreneurship. A high quality restaurant is like a virtuoso pianist playing a finely tuned piano: a great deal of talent, coordination and practice goes into an end result that appears graceful, effortless and exquisite. As paradoxical as it seems, for him creativity thrives within the bounds of a certain amount of discipline. In this episode Joe and Jeff discuss some of the finer points of applying these lessons to your business and life.  


    1.    To get the job done effectively, follow the kitchen inspired concept of mise en place--organize everything into its proper place before getting down to work.
    2.    In it’s essence, service is a well crafted method of preparation that ensures that the results are consistent and high quality. It is well worth honing this technique.
    3.    Avoid the big mistakes but accept the small ones as necessary obstacles to shape the unique character of your business.

Direct download: 062-SUP_Jeff_Zurofsky_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

John Durant, author of the Paleo Manifesto, dispels the myth that Paleo is a meat intense, monolithic diet. There are many indigenous cultures, he explains, with different levels of meat consumption, and therefore many models to choose from. What he doesn’t accept, however, is that vegetarianism exists in our nature. In his research, Durant could not identify even one xexample. He does agree that the most important aspect of this and any other health conscious diet is the elimination of processed foods.  He describes how our cultural shift towards expediency and convenience has made us sick.

    1.    Vegetarian and vegan diets are not noted in indigenous diets and are largely grew out of our industrial cultures.
    2.    The most important aspect of the paleo diet is not to increase meat consumption, but rather to eliminate processed foods from our plate.
    3.    We are products of our habitat. To effectively change your diet, change your surroundings.

Direct download: 061-SUP-John_Durant_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

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